Transformation of railways into a profitable entity without selling its land: Azam Sawati

On Monday, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati said that the department would be transformed into a profitable entity in six to nine months without selling out the land of Pakistan Railways.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that Chief Justice Supreme of Pakistan Court, Gulzar Ahmed had played a key role for retrieving the precious land of Pakistan Railways. He said the assets of Pakistan Railways would not be sold. Rather, he said, the illegally occupied lands of organization would be retrieved from the land grabbers across the country.

The minister said that last week he had held meeting with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan who assured for complete cooperation to retrieve the land of Pakistan Railways. To retrieve precious land of the department in Punjab, Azam Swati said he also going to hold meeting during next week with Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Azam Swati said that Pakistan Railways has the land around 1,67,000 acres across the country. The minister said that he would never dispose of the properties of Pakistan Railways added that it was for the first time in the history that department was going to be profitable entity.

Azam Swati said that concrete measures would be taken to increase freight income from the existing Rs 9 billion to Rs 36 billion in the upcoming six months. He said measures would be taken to ensure safety and avoid rail accidents.

The minister said that signal system would be improved and the issue of unmanned railway crossings to also be addressed as soon as possible. Azam Swati said that directions have been given to concerned authorities for making railway stations as hub of economic activities in the respective areas.

He said welfare of the railways’ employees was on priority. Replying to a question, the minister said that development work would be started on Main Line-I from Karachi to Peshawar under China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the first week of May.

Azam Swati said that Uzbekistan was going to be connected with the whole world through Gawadar, adding that World Bank had approved Rs 4.5 billion in this regard.

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