Take Care of Railways.

Pakistan Railways was the worst affected institution by the record rains in July and August last year. Not only many railway lines were submerged in water due to floods, but also many bridges were severely damaged. Many areas were cut off from other parts of the country including Rohri, Sukkur, Quetta etc. The impact of the flood was so great that the institution could not recover from its effects for several months. In those two months (July, August), we had to suffer a loss of about five hundred and twenty-five billion rupees. No other institution in the country would have been able to stand on its feet again after suffering such a huge loss. It was Pakistan Railways and its hardworking employees who tirelessly played their vital role in restoring the operation of Pakistan Railways across the country.

At present, 90 trains of Pakistan Railways are running and we are trying to make this number cross the figure of 100 in the next few months. Inspite of severe lack of resources, efforts are being made for the restoration and upgradation of different trains. After the success of Green Line, Shalimar Express has also shown its popularity among passengers. We are currently working on the restoration of the Bahauddin Zakaria Express which will be running on its old route from June 1.

In light of Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq's instructions to increase the revenue of Pakistan Railways, we have started our work on branding, from which we expect to generate at least one billion rupees in two years. At present, Branding is being introduced to major stations. If successful, it will be extended to smaller stations and cities. Apart from this, work is also going on to generate revenue from railway lands through commercial purposes, from which the institution expects reasonable income.

I would like to clarify one thing that Pakistan Railways is one of the very few institutions that salaries and pensions from its own resources. After the floods, our revenue decreased because of suspension of operations in certain areas. Resultantly, payment of salaries and pension started getting delayed. In order to resolve this delay in salaries and pension, we have requested the federal government to make these payments directly into the accounts of employees and pensioners through banks so that they may no longer be dependent on the revenue earned through operations by Pakistan Railways. Negotiations in this regard are in final stages. Salary and pension will...

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