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Sheikh Rasheed promises 5,000 quarters, 20,000 jobs in railways

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August 21, 2018

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RAWALPINDI: Minister of Railways Sheikh Rasheed announced on Monday his plan to upgrade 32 railway stations across Pakistan during his tenure.

Sheikh Rasheed, who was sworn in as the Railways Minister earlier in the day, said that the railway stations of Margalla and Chaklala will be upgraded on an urgent basis, reported the Geo News on Monday.

The Awami Muslim League (AML) chief also put forth an ambitious plan to reform the Railways Department with salient features, including building 5,000 quarters for department employees, generating 20,000 jobs, upgrading railways’ hospitals, doubling the track with investment from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and planting trees on both sides of the railway track. “We will also build plazas and food streets near the railway stations,” he shared, adding that the department will make efforts to claim the railways land, which has been grabbed by the land mafia.

He further remarked that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet has taken a zero tolerance policy towards corruption. “We will not tolerate one percent corruption in the railways department," he said while addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi. He said that he did not want to become the railway minister but now it was all right that he had been made the minister.

He further added, “We have to improve the online booking system and introduce the e-ticketing system. We will do our best to improve the ride for the poor.”

Railways has a debt of Rs37 billion, Sheikh Rasheed remarked, adding that he will work towards reducing this amount. The retired railways' employees get pensions worth Rs30 billion, he claimed. "I am a different Sheikh Rasheed, the nation will see," he added.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Monday was briefed about the Pakistan Railways at the Ministry of Railways, Islamabad. He asked to double the freight trains. The minister clearly mentioned that the Carriage Factory, Islamabad, shall be improved. The reason behind the losses shall also be studied in detail. He said that no locomotive should be stopped.

He also inquired about the Risalpur Locomotive Factory, sick locomotives and the Quetta-Taftan section. He also asked to open the Pakistan Railways for investment. He said that Sukkur would be given top priority.

The briefing was also attended by M Javed Anwar, Chairman, Ministry of Railways, Aftab Akbar, CEO Pakistan Railways, Raja Zaheer, SP Pakistan Railways Police, Farukh Taimur Ghilzai, Secretary Railways Board, Munawar Ali Shah, DG Technical, and Maryam Gillani, DG Operations.

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