RAWALPINDI: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Railways on Wednesday recommended financial autonomy to the Railway Carriage Factory to increase its capacity and make it more efficient.
The recommendation was made during a meeting of the Standing Committee at Divisional Superintendent (DS) office, Pakistan Railways under the chairmanship of the Standing Committee Muhammad Moeen Wattoo.
The meeting was briefed by the officers of Pakistan Railways that during nearly 40 days, over 700 kanal of the Railway land were retrieved from the occupation of the encroachers.
The Railways officers informed the meeting that 4, 000 acres of the Railways land was occupied across the country, of which 1, 600 acres were under residential encroachments.
The officers further said that 88 acres of the Railways land had been retrieved across the country since January 1.
The committee was also informed about the pensions and arrears of the Railway employees and all pensions and arrears will also be cleared up to June.
The committee also reviewed other agenda items including the issue of construction on the Railway land in Quetta and the revenue of the Railways.
DS Railway Rawalpindi Division Syed Munawar Shah also briefed the committee about Rawalpindi division and informed that the division had imposed ban on use of electric heaters in the Railway offices and also seized more than 600 electric heaters.
The division saved 200, 000 units of electricity worth Rs 55 million.
He further said that the Railway is giving an average subsidy of Rs. 23 per unit to the employees. In terms of the electricity subsidy, the Railways is suffering a great loss, he said adding, it has been decided that big railway colonies would be handed over to WAPDA and digital electric meters would be installed in colonies.
The meeting was told that five buildings were demolished in Quetta city which were illegally constructed on the railways land.
Similarly, 48 acres land was retrieved in Karachi.
Member Committee Muhammad Bashir on the occasion informed that there are encroachments in many places from Nowshera to Dargai.
The Chairman said Pakistan Railways are facing financial problems which will have to be addressed.
He said, a tourist train can be run up to Landi Kotal.
The meeting also discussed implementation of the previous committee meeting’s agenda items and informed that NLC, FBR, and Railways have agreed on the new map.
Railway officers are also working on the site of Landi Kotal and the railway track would reach up to Chaman. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also contacted the World Bank.
Munawar Shah said that the inspection is being conducted for Takht Bay Railway bridge.
Moin Wattoo appreciated performance of DS Railways Rawalpindi Division Syed Munawar Shah and said that the briefing given to the meeting was comprehensive.