THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, LAHORE, 01st OCTOBER 2013: The chairman of Pakistan Railways (PR) should not be from the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), but from the Civil Services of Pakistan Railways (CSPR) for better understanding and working of organisation, said Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique.
The Ministry of Railways will send a summary to the prime minister to post a member from CSPR as
chairman, Rafique said while addressing a press conference at PR headquarters on Monday.
PR’s prime objective was to make existing train engines operate at maximum efficiency, said Rafique. PR was looking for foreign investors to build and repair rail lines between Karachi and Peshawar to withstand speeds of 120 kilometres per hour. Presently the trains run at 90 kilometres per hour.
The organisation will advertise for the posts of Director General Public Relations and Director General Legal to hire competent men from the open market, because the legal wing of PR had badly collapsed, said Rafique. In the past, PR signed many contracts against its interest owing to some the absence of a strong legal team, he admitted.
Rafique said that PR was making all attempts to enhance revenues, which are witnessing shortages of up to Rs35 billion. All divisional superintendents had been directed to arrange sale points for sacrificial animals on railway land to generate revenue, Rafique added.
When I took charge of PR, the observance of punctuality was the biggest issue and now we have improved it by 40%, Rafique said. Although PR was facing revenue shortfalls, occupancy rates have increased and revenues enhanced by about Rs1.95 billion, added Rafique.
The daily shortfall of Rs100 million was reduced substantially, said Rafique. He added that it had been decided to post Train Managers on each train to improve efficiency and all staff, including police officials, would be subordinate to managers. The management was trying to repair and activate one more freight train. Now PR has 12 days of diesel in stocks, compared to 24 hours when I took charge of this ministry, Rafique said.