Railways to issue tenders for high-speed train on BOT basis





Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashisd Ahmed Saturday said that for Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad to Sukkur, the department is going to issue tenders for launching a high-speed train on the basis of build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, along with the Main Line-1 (ML-1).

Addressing a press conference here at PR headquarters, he said with the grace of Allah Almighty, funds had been obtained for ML-1 whereas the Punjab government had also given funds for two universities.

The minister said funds were also available for Mother & Child Hospital in Rawalpindi and Nullah Lai, and soon all these projects would be completed.

He said the work on Command and Control System in Lahore would be completed within a month and people would be able to check the position of trains by sitting at their homes.

Sheikh Rashid said a decision had also been made to install trackers in freight trains and the department was going to connect 117 inquiry helpline with Ufone, adding, 220 call centres of Ufone would be able to book tickets as well.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate Sir Syed Express on June 30, although it was a tentative date. He hoped that the train would also get popular among passengers.

To a question, the minister said the PR got a business of Rs 400 million by opening its reservation offices for 24 hours. Those who wanted to shoot dramas and movies at railway stations would be allowed to do so free-of-cost and if they would use any engine, wagon or other material, they would be charged as per the PR rules, he added.

Responding to another query, the minister said that railways had a fuel capacity of 30 days, adding that the department had oil depots in case of emergency situation and more depots would also be added.

The minister said as per railway rules, the department should have fuel for seven days, but we have it for 20 days. He said a decision had also been made to increase fare of freight trains by 10 per cent.

Sheikh Rashid said, “We are going to manufacture freight wagons and passenger coaches.”

He said that 200 coaches were being gathered at Harbanspura workshop, and then after selection, maintenance work would be launched.

Responding to a question, he said the cases which the leadership of PML-N and PPP were facing had not been made by Imran Khan. There would be no deal with them at all, he added.

Railways minister said whoever has done wrong, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should take action against them.

To a question about presidential form of government, he said no presidential system was coming in Pakistan.