KARACHI, Jan 9 (APP):Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati on Saturday said for how long the losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways would be met from the tax payers money.
Some Rs 40 billion would be paid during the current year for the purpose, which should have been used for the welfare of masses, if the Railways was a profit earning department, he said while addressing a press conference here at the City Railways Station.
Azam Swati said during the last five months, the losses of Pakistan Railways stood at Rs 17 billion. All out efforts would be made to minimize the losses, he added.
He said for ample utilization of the available resources,all the sections of the Railways were being evaluated.
He would pay full attention to the freight service, which currently generated Rs 11 billion annually revenue, and would be increased up to Rs 22 billion in a few months with the help of same resources and manpower, Azam Swati added.
The minister said his top priority was to ensure that both the passenger and freight trains should reach their respective destinations safely on time. Both train services were pride of the Railways and full efforts would be undertaken bring further improvement in them.
The schools and dinning service would be out-sourced, he added.
He expressed gratitude to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) especially for the action being taken against illegal encroachments in Karachi under his supervision. The illegally occupied land of the Railways would be retrieved with the help of CJP, he added.
Azam Swati called upon the media to keep a strict vigil on him as well as the railway officials and point out their shortcomings. The media as the fifth pillar of state should guide them as to how bring further improvement in services being provided by the Railways to the people.
He told a questioner that he would hold a video conference with the officials of the Uzbekistan on January 11, to discuss the matters related to the trilateral railway project connecting Pakistan with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan had already laid tracks up to Mazar-e-Shareef and now it had to be connected from Mazar-e-Shareef to Kabul and Kabul to Peshawar, he added.
To a question about his surprise visits and actions taken against the negligent staffers, he responded that only one railway staffer had been suspended on negligence.
Action against him would be taken as per due process and law as an inquiry was under process in that regard, he added.