ISLAMABAD: As many as nine major accidents of passenger and goods trains have occurred on Pakistan’s Railways entire network across the country from August 2018 to August 2020.
In these accidents, around 134 persons died, 167 sustained injuries while the financial damage faced by the Pakistan Railways was above Rs 410 million, an official in the Ministry of Railways said.
He said Pakistan Railways was in process of revamping and upgrading the existing railway infrastructure through installation of Main Line-I project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The ML-1 would help transform the overall organization, besides ensuring safety of the passengers, he added.
The official said on the directives of Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, concentrated efforts were being made to prevent the accidents in future to save the lives of the public.
He said upgradation of 550 vulnerable unmanned level crossings was also being carried out throughout Pakistan Railways network in collaboration with the respective provincial governments.
“The Directorate of Public Relations has circulated different video messages over social media for the awareness and information of general public regarding crossing the railway crossings in a safe way,” he said.
The official said there will be conversion of old age kerosene oil based signals with light emitting diode on main line as it had better visibility.
He said the training and refresher courses were being conducted regularly at the Pakistan Railway Academy Lahore and regular inspections in accordance with prescribed standards and quota.
This process was being constantly monitored at appropriate levels and special bulletins and instructions were issued regularly for guidance of staff, he added.
The official said cameras were being installed inside locomotives on line inspections of officers and staff. As many as 2000 fire extinguishers were under process of procurements and they would be installed in trains, he said.
To a question, he said Pakistan Railways has completed as many as ten rehabilitation and development projects worth Rs 27,435.6 million during the last two years from August 2018 to 2020.
He said the project including doubling of track from Khanewal to Raiwind-246 kilometers with a cost of Rs 14,261 million.
The other projects included mechanization of track maintenance (pilot project), rehabilitation of rolling stock and track, reopening of rail car from Kohat-Rawalpindi-Kohat section, up gradation of VHF communication system for operational staff, rehabilitation/procurement of re-manufactured 300 traction motors and others, he added.
Pakistan Railways, through special initiatives and projects, managed to generate an additional revenue of Rs 10 billion that helped in reducing its annual deficit by Rs four billion and an absorption of Rs six billion additional bill in respect of increasing cost of the fuel as well as of pay and pension bill.
He said that during financial year 2018-2019, earning of the department stood at Rs 54.59 billion compared to Rs 49.50 billion for financial year 2017-18 which was the highest revenue ever achieved by the department.
The Annual deficit lowered from Rs 36.00 billion to Rs 32 billion.
The revenue target has been increased from Rs 53 billion to Rs 58 billion for the current year. Up-till December 31, last year Rs 27,967.195 million has been earned against the budgetary target of Rs 27,499.967 million for the period, he added.
Regarding the freight business, he said the earning was increased to Rs 10,285.466 million against target of Rs 10,039.970 million upto December-2019.