6,496.13 acres railway land leased out in last three years: Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, April 11 (APP): Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique Tuesday informed the Senate that as many as 6496.13 acres railway land was leased out for various purposes, including premium shops, stacking, agriculture and parking stands during last three years from January, 2014 to December, 2016.
During Question Hour in the House, the minister said that as many
as 470 acres land was leased out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5,133 acres in Punjab, 833 in Sindh and 59 acres in Balochistan.
He pointed out that Pakistan Railway had earned Rs 4,653.917
million in last three years (2013-2016) as compared to Rs 1,578.136
million in previous three years (2010-2013).
“The policy of the present government is to maximize the use of
surplus railway land through short term and medium term leasing instead
of outright sale or long term leasing,” he added.
Saad Rafique said the leasing of railway lands for various purposes,
therefore, was an ongoing process and would be actively perused specially for agricultural purposes.
In addition, some potential sites for commercial exploitation had
also been identified, which would be put to open auction in phases, the minister added.
To a question, the minister said that Pakistan Railways had a fleet
of 448 diesel electric locomotives, out of which 293 locomotives were operating on railway tracks at present in the country.
“The availability of operational locomotives has increased to 293
from 180 in May, 2013 due to dedicated efforts of the management and increased spending on repair and maintenance of locomotives,” he added.
However, the minister said during May 2013, only 74 locomotives
(41%) were on full complements i.e., six traction motors while the
remaining were with two to four traction motors and could not pull
the requisite trailing load, resulting in 11 failures per working
loco during the year.
The position had completely turned around and now 234 (80%)
locomotives were on full complements and capable to haul full load,
also failure of locomotives reduced to 1/6th during this period, he
Saad Rafique said that around Rs 13413 million incurred on
maintenance and repair of diesel electric locomotives during last five years.
He said the expenditure on maintenance and repair of locomotives
substantially increased during last three years, which was reflected in their increased availability and reliability.
He said 93 locomotives were under maintenance and repair presently,
and would be made completely operational by June, 2018. This was,
however, an ongoing exercise as the running locomotives had to be
detained for carrying out routine schedules and overhauls, he added.
Saad Rafique said 62 Chinese locomotives had been held up since long
requiring heavy repairs. The rehabilitation plan of those locomotives
was under consideration subject to a feasibility study to establish that
the rehabilitation would be economical, keeping in view the residual life
of these locomotives.
He said a PC-I for purchase of 300 diesel electric locomotives was
under preparation, which would meet the requirements of Pakistan
Railways for next ten years.
“Pakistan Railways intend to go for international bidding for
indigenous manufacturing of bulk of these locomotives (about 80%) in Pakistan Railways locomotives factory, Risalpur through Transfer of Technology (TOT),” he added.