From Business Correspondent
LAHORE: Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said yesterday that 10,000 new employees would be recruited in the department on urgent basis and a summary had been sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan for approval in this regard.
In a press conference held at the PR headquarters here, he said that the railways was facing shortage of 23,000 employees, however 10,000 employees were needed urgently on merit.
The minister informed that the railways had decided to operate three new trains from the next month, adding that a new train would be operated between Lahore and Faisalabad from October 1, while Mohnjodaro Express and Rohi Express trains would be operated from October 16.
To facilitate the passengers, the minister announced that all reservation offices across the country would remain opened till midnight at 12:00 and said that till December 30, reservation offices would remain opened round the clock.
Sheikh Rashid said that it had been decided to offer private partners to come forward and take over Golra Railway station to convert it in food street and picnic spot.
He said that tenders for the provision of clean drinking water and other facilities would soon be opened.
The minister said that Mainline-I and Mainline-II were important for the country from which ML-I had been kept under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) whereas the ML-II would be offered to the private investors for upgradation on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) basis.
He said that PR committee for investment opportunities would meet on every Thursday and the railways would welcome all investors.
He said that no improvement had been made in the freight sector and the number of freight trains were the same as it was twelve years ago.
He vowed to increase the number of freight trains from 10 to 15 with in 120 days.
The minister said that Karachi was being made fright headquarters for the railways as Karachi was hub of the business.
To a question, he said that response of new trains was very good and around average 600 passengers were travelling by newly introduced trains.
To another question, Sheikh Rashid said that he wanted to sell two to three railways plots in Lahore and Karachi to overcome deficit of the railways. He said that Rs 38 billion was the current deficit of the railways while the railways was under debt of Rs 25 billion.