Call to privatise railways booking, checking

LAHORE (September 27 2010): Railway passengers have demanded authorities to privatised booking and checking on branch lines. Hafiz Abdul Qayyum, Chairman Daily Passengers Association (DPA) Pakistan Railways, talking to APP here on Sunday, said the department faced an annual loss of about Rs 5 billion through embezzlement by its staff.

He charged that corruption in booking had reached highest level and railway staff including booking clerks, special ticket examiners and railway police were involved in corruption.

“STEs collect money in trains and do not issue tickets,” he alleged. He said the police was not only supporting the staff but also got their share. He alleged that no action was taken by the authorities even after complaints, adding the corrupt mafia of booking staff and STEs not only threatened passengers but sometimes tortured them. He said the only solution to corruption was to hand over booking and checking systems to PRACS, as it was already operating computerised booking on main lines very successfully – Brecorder