Continuity Of Policies Vital To Strengthen Railways: Minister Saad Rafique
Sumaira FH Published December 04, 2022 | 07:20 PM
LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Dec, 2022 ) :Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that continuity of policies is essential to strengthen Railways or any other department in the country.
Addressing a press conference at a local hotel on Sunday, he thanked Chinese Company CRRC, its staff and railway officials for completing the first phase of a project related to high speed coaches, manufactured by the CRRC. He said that 46 coaches had arrived in Pakistan and the project was conceived in 2017. He said that in this regard an agreement was signed in 2021, which should have been signed in 2018. Unfortunately, the project was delayed due to which its cost had increased by billions of rupees. He said all-out efforts were being made to tackle the issue.
Railways minister said that the completely built unit (CBU) coaches were only 46, and the rest of coaches would be made in Pakistan at carriage factory Islamabad. Transfer of technology would also be carried out soon after which Railways would not obtain the CBU for such coaches, he added.
Saad Rafique urged the Railways engineering department to fully benefit from transfer of technology initiative as it would be helpful for improving the CFI Unit of the department. He said that sincere efforts were being made for evolving a 10-year roadmap for Railways at the earliest. Khawaja said, "In 2018, the PSDP of railways was Rs 43 billion and it only increased by Rs 4 billions in four years of the PTI government." He said that not a single locomotive had been included in a fleet besides no addition of any new coach.
During the tenure of the PTI government, Railways was badly mismanaged, he said adding that now efforts were being made once again to streamline the things. He said that Railways land had been digitialised, which was a great step in the right direction.
The minister said that land of civil aviation would also be digitalised and Railways Land Director General was providing assistance in this regard on the basis of his experience. He said that Railways land would have to be utilised for generating revenue, adding that special focus was being made on branding.
Regarding optic fibre, he said that all stakeholders should come up with revenue sharing formula. He said that dedicated efforts were being made to bring improvement in Pakistan Airlines besides wiping out cartels and mafias in aviation. He said that work on Main Line-1 project would be started again and he thanked the Chinese leadership in this regard.
Saad Rafique said that all possible steps would be taken to uplift Railways, Aviation and Local Aviation industry, adding that national aviation policy was also being improved and soon it would be submitted to the federal cabinet.
To a question, Saad Rafique said that assemblies were made for legislation not for dissolution. To another query, he said: "Time will come soon when there will be a new accountability system in the country as the National Accountability Bureau had been misused by Imran Khan and company."