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Non stop train from May

LAHORE: from the first week of May this year. A new non-stop superior train will start chugging between Islamabad and Karachi says railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafique.

"The name and fare of the all air-conditioned train will be finalized in a couple of days, the minister told newsmen after formally making 10 new power vans part of the railways fleet at a ceremony at the railway station here on Tuesday.

The minister said the Pakistan Railways (PR) fleet had only 27 power vans when he took over. The PR now has 73 power vans and by March 31, with the addition of another 10 new such vans the number will rise to 84. It will facilitate our passengers in the coming summer there will be almost no complaints about non-operational fans, lights and air-conditioners in passenger coaches this summer, he said.

Claiming improvement in the freight sector, the minister said now some 10 freight trains were leaving Karachi daily on an average for several upcountry destinations, adding to the railways revenue.

Mr Rafique said efforts were under way to improve railway police performance. Projects worth of Rs1 billion had been finalized and forwarded to the finance ministry. So far, funds to the tune of Rs400 million had been approved which would be utilized for imparting modern training to the PR personnel and equip the force with latest equipment, he added.

He said a proposal seeking increase in the wages of the PR police was also being considered. A summary had also been moved for increasing by 20 per cent the salaries of the PR police staff that would soon be implemented, he added.
He said some 100 vacancies of constables had been surrendered while seeking creation of 20 posts of inspectors and 49 of assistant sub-inspectors to improve the command mechanism of the PR police. The new recruitment would be made on merit through the Federal Public Service Commission, said the minister.

Regarding the five per cent deduction from PR employees salaries in the name of renovation and rehabilitation of official residences, Mr Rafique said land had been earmarked for the construction of new staff quarters. Approval had also been granted to release Rs300 million for the purpose under the federal government Public Sector Development Program me, he added

by Anjali Singh


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