Railway excels

AS PML-N government is completing its five-year term, a comparative study of performance of Pakistan Railways with other organisations and departments would clearly show that PR excelled in every respect. The credit for this goes to Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, who managed to improve performance and output of this otherwise moribund organisation, which could come out of its troubles completely if the coming government continues with the same policies and vision as well as hard work.
There are no two opinions that PR was at the verge of collapse when the present government took over in 2013. Khawaja Saad Rafiq’s predecessor – Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour had lost all hopes of reformation of the PR and during his repeated statements in Parliament he said he needed billions of dollars to put the PR back on track. As against this, the incumbent Minister sought no support or aid from the Federal Government but still succeeded in making PR a role model of improvement. Five years back, Railway earned just 18 billion rupees but its income has now reached Rs 50 billion. The number of railway engines has increased from 180 to 325 and refurbishing of 18 trains was completed. Previously, there was just one goods train daily but the number has gone up to 12, leading to marked increase in income of the organisation. Black marketing of tickets has almost been eliminated with the introduction of a transparent reservation system. Railway was also able to get its land retrieved from individuals and organisations and this is now being used for profitable ventures. Steps were also taken for elimination of corruption, ghost employees and pensioners leading to substantial savings. Khawaja Saad Rafiq and his team members have also succeeded in launching a number of development projects that would change the entire landscape of railway in Pakistan in years to come especially after completion of projects under CPEC.

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