Make rail journey safe


FREQUENT train accidents in the country especially due to
unmanned crossings clearly highlight the inadequacy of Pakistan Railways to provide a safe and secure journey to the commuters. Friday saw yet another tragic train accident which killed twenty people whilst injuring many others. Reportedly, Pakistan Express train was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi when it hit a bus at a railway crossing. The accident has been attributed to the negligence of bus driver and the unmanned crossing.
Definitely the accident, which has claimed precious lives, should not be used for political point scoring as has been done in the past but both federal and provincial governments must fulfil their responsibilities to ensure the safety of the train commuters which often belong to the poor and lower middle class. There are about three thousand unmanned level crossings in the country. Since manning the level crossing is a provincial matter as per Section 12 of the Railway Act 1890, therefore, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid is absolutely right in requesting the provincial governments to abolish the unmanned railway crossings. Before any other train accident takes place, the provincial governments must act immediately as after all it is the matter of lives of poor people. ML-1 project is of immense importance to upgrade the railways infrastructure from Peshawar and Karachi which most importantly will remove all these manned and unmanned crossings with the construction of underpasses and flyovers as well as fencing of the track. From day one Sheikh Rashid has laid great emphasis on this mega project and we expect that with the Chinese cooperation, work on the project will be started this year and completed in the timeline given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The timely execution of the project is of immense importance to completely transform Pakistan Railways as per the modern standards. With this new bogies and locomotives also need to be inducted into the railways to provide a safe and comfortable journey to the commuters. This upgradation will help the railways to attract more commuters and multiply its revenue.