LAHORE, June 24 (APP): Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique announced on Friday that the railways has reduced fares by 33 per cent on the first and second day of Eid ul Fitr.
Addressing a press conference at Pakistan Railways Headquarters here, he said that reduction in fares would be applicable to all classes of all trains.
He said that railway track between Shahdara and Raiwind would be converted into a clean and green corridor, adding that the purpose behind it was to remove heaps of garbage along the track and to enhance the track beauty.
The minister said that Pakistan Horticulture Authority (PHA) would complete this project in two years, which would be a pilot project.
Saad Rafique said that 103 acres of Royal Palm Country Club was leased in 2001 for 33 years with malafide intensions. But, in violation of the agreement, 33 bungalows and 108 quarters of railways were demolished to increase the land area from 103 acres to some 140 acres.
He said that according to the agreement, the land use charges were set at Rs 21.6 million annually, which was changed to Rs 2,160,000 in violating of the agreement.
A five star hotel had to be constructed in the club, which was not built. The Royal Palm management had to give 10 per cent to the railways, out of its gross revenue.
He said that cinemas, marquees were built without permission. The minister said that the club had not paid rent to the railways for the last two years and also did not pay gross revenue share for three years.
Saad said that the case of the club was in the Supreme Court (SC) but it did not restrain the railways from taking action against the defaulter.
He further said that the contract with the club had been terminated through legal ways and the action had been taken against illegal possession.
The minister said that at present the activities of the club had been suspended which would be resumed after Eid.
He said that currently the Railway Estate Development and Marketing Company (Private) Limited (REDAMCO) was looking after the club matters and further decision would be made later.
He said that people who had booked events might contact REDAMCO, and as far as members of the club were concerned, it would be seen as to how they could be facilitated as per law.
He said that all healthy activities in the club would take place except selling of alcohol.
To a question, the minister said that Royal Palm case was under investigation in NAB and the railways was hopeful that its money would be recovered. He said that NAB Islamabad Pindi Chapter was dealing with the club case.
He said that it was not tolerable that those who looted billions of rupees go Scot free.
Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer Javed Anwar and all other officials of the railways were present.