Pak Railways not to lease its land for commercial purposes: Khawaja Saad

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ISLAMABAD, May 22 (APP): Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique Monday said Pakistan Railways would not empower individuals by leasing them out its precious land for commercial purposes.
While chairing a high level meeting on policy on street vendors and
small markets on Railways land, Khawaja Saad Rafique also directed his
team to prepare a plan of model market in collaboration with local
government in Punjab on selected sections and then the same may be
replicated in other provinces, said a press release issued here.
In the meeting, he was briefed by Director Property and Land Arshad
Salam Khattak on the issue at Railways Headquarters Lahore.
He said Pakistan Railways should devise a complete working plan for
remedial management of unauthorized small and medium enterprises on
Railways land.
“Railways companies like REDEMCO, RAILCOP and Property and
Land department should prepare the detailed policy in consultation with local and provincial governments, street vendors are integral part of urban
economies, this plan would not only provide main source of income for the
households of millions of street vendors but also generate revenue for
Pakistan Railways,” he said.
Small Model markets would help reduce the encroachments in busiest
places of the cities.
“We need to move forward towards modernization of
public markets and these model markets for small street vendors would
uplift their working ambience and by offering wide range of products at
cheaper rates will facilitate public as well”, he said.
A policy on regularization and recovery (last 15 years) from of small
and large industries on Railways land was also endorsed in the meeting.
He said that commercial activity would only be allowed on closed and
nonoperational sections as security and safety remains the prime concern of
Pakistan Railways.