‘PR to restore trains’ operation from 20th’


By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways (PR) Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday announced to restore 15 up and 15 down passenger trains from May 20 to May 31 to facilitate masses on Eid-ul-Fitr with new time table.
Addressing a news conference here, the minister expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan for restoration of passenger train operations in the country.
“No one will be allowed to enter the railway stations without a ticket. Around 7,000 railway police officials have been deployed at the stations in all divisions to ensure only passengers can enter and an emergency would be imposed
during the train operation,†he added.
“If there is a violation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in any division, the Divisional Superintendents will be held responsible and strict action will be taken against them,†he added.
Sheikh Rashid said a rehearsal had been scheduled at all trains and stations on May 19 (Tuesday), adding that if the position regarding coronavirus would remain stable in the month of May, all the train services would be restored
across the country from June 1.
“I am grateful to Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar and Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Hafeez Sheikh for their support regarding financial issues of Pakistan Railways,†he remarked.
The minister said he would visit Peshawar tomorrow (Tuesday) to review the measures taken by the respective division, while day after tomorrow he would see off the Green Line.
Sheikh Rashid said he would also review the situation of other passenger trains and railway stations as well to ensure that SOPs and other safety measures were being adopted completely.
He paid tribute to paramedical staff of the country and Pakistan Railways’ employees for their services in the pandemic. The minister also lauded the role of Supreme Court for its directions to open public transport which also helped Pakistan Railways easy to restore its operation on the Eid-ul-Fitr.
The minister said Pakistan Railways connect all provinces, “I don’t have any conflict with provinces and I appreciate all provincial governments for their support in the regard,†he added.
The minister said nobody was hatching conspiracy against the government and hoped that the incumbent government would complete its tenure. He said those, who were hatching conspiracy against the government, had been blacklisted and soon would see their names on the Exit Control List (ECL). “I am not seeing any amendment in Ordinance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and I will never support it,†he stated.