APP32-30 KARACHI: August 30 - Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad talking to media persons at Railway Station Cantt. APP Photo by M. Saleem

KARACHI, Aug 30 (APP):Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here on Thursday announced 50 percent concession for train passengers above 65 years of age and free travel for those above 75.
Addressing a press conference at Karachi Cantonment Station, he said restoration of Pakistan Railways on modern lines was among the top priorities of the government and a concerted and coordinated approach was to be adopted for the purpose.
“We want to turn Pakistan Railways into an exemplary service-oriented institution with equal attention towards its profitability,” he said.
For the purpose, he said attention would not only be paid towards professional capacities of the PR employees and improvement in its resources but property encroached upon would also be retrieved in coordination with associated departments and institutions.”
The minister in reply to a question regarding Karachi Circular Railways, said this would be
restored with due approval of the Sindh government.
“I will be meeting soon Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to discuss the issue and revive
the scheme in accordance with the provincial government’s will,” Sheikh Rashid said.
He also announced that all the Pakistan Railways hospitals in the country would be made open to the general public under public-private partnership scheme.
With regard to residential facilities for the employees of the department, the federal minister for railways said Karachi constituting sizable proportion of the network could take lead in the provision.
“Karachi Electric (KE) has already agreed to install meters and the department would execute the proposed expansion of residential quarters in the metropolis on strong lines,” the minister said.
Sheikh Rashid said he as the minister concerned had envisaged a rehabilitation programme for the railway department and would be putting it soon before the cabinet.
Under the scheme, he said two new train services would be introduced on the pattern of Green Line and that one of those would necessarily include super train service between Karachi and Islamabad.
Sheikh Rashid said a pragmatic approach was being adopted to improve service quality of
the facility, for which he needed no more than three to four months time.
He said to improve the performance of the PR workers, including those pertaining to officer cadre, strict criterion was being adopted with nil provision for complacency.
Earlier, the minister visited Karachi city station and had an introductory meeting with local officials.