Cash-starved Pakistan Railways terminates 75 train services

RailwaysKARACHI: Pakistan Railways (PR) has terminated 75 train services whereas 28 more will likely to meet same fate, making it worst scenario for rail passengers.

PR has already been on the verge of financial collapse, while this move will further amplify their problems.A PR officer on the condition of anonymity told PPI that earlier, the department had 260 train services – 220 passengers and 40 goods trains- which used to cater to the needs of thousands of commuters every day.However, from 2008 to 2010, 75 train services were terminated, while 28 others will soon be ceased. Thereafter, only 157 train services will cover a population of 180 million that will further add to the already helpless passengers.

On the other hand, sources say that only one day of fuel is left in the oil stores of PR. Usually, fuel supply for five days is maintained by the national organisation. When fuel for two or three days is left the department purchases more oil from PSO but no such effort has been done this time around.Experts believe that even a day’s irregularity will cause immense nuisance to thousands of passengers throughout the country. PR Workers Union Chairman Manzoor Ahmed Razi told PPI that the reduction of train services would add further load to the already overloaded trains as the department would be forced to add additional bogies to adjust the traffic of passengers.

It may be mentioned here that normally a locomotive consists of six traction motors while the PR is operating them with only three or four motors, therefore, they breakdown midway through their journey. Adding further bogies will add more load to locomotive engines, resulting in more mid-journey breakdowns.20,000 employees awaiting salaries: As the cash-strapped Pakistan Railways is up against a new problem almost every day. The salaries of more than 20,000 B tour employees are pending, causing indignation among them whereas 0.1 million ex-employees are also awaiting pensions.

As per details, retirement dues, including gratuity, provident fund and others of 1500 retired officials are also pending, causing great concern to the ex-employees, particularly after looking at the state of affairs of the department.An ex-employee, on the condition of anonymity, told PPI, ”Already it has been six month since I retired and after looking at the state of affairs of Pakistan Railways, it is hard to imagine that retired employees will get there funds soon.”Chairman PR Workers’ Union Manzoor Ahmed Razi has demanded of the Finance Division General Headquarters to immediately release the salaries and allowances of present and ex-employees. – Dailytimes