MULTAN: Federal Minister for Railways Shiekh Rasheed Ahmad said that special freight train is going to be launched from January 25 to facilitate the business community for transportation of shipments and it will also generate revenue for the government like passenger trains.
While addressing the business community at Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), he said that ministry of railways is taking all possible steps to facilitate the business community of South Punjab. The business community should come forward and utilize the best services of Pakistan Railways for commercial purposes and serve the countrymen.
Pakistan Railways would also provide staff to facilitate the businessmen, he said and added that Pakistan Railways had over 400 acres of land available in Multan and some other districts in the region. Businessmen should get it on lease for setting up plant nurseries to promote initiative of green Pakistan.
He said the businessmen should play an effective role for progress and prosperity of the country. 38 trains including eight Express ones stop in Multan and one more Express train is being scheduled to stop at Multan Railway Station in near future while Bahauddin Zakariya Express would also get new coaches. Work on another 230 coaches is being carried out currently, he maintained.
He said that Pakistan Railways is going to install 300 trackers in the trains within 15 days to enable the people to track the trains’ position during travelling through the internet. He said that the GPS trackers had been provided to the railways by a local engineer.
On this occasion Chairman Multan Dry Port Trust and President of Multan Industrial Estate Management Board Khawaja Muhammad Jalaluddin Roomi also requested the Federal Minister to launch freight transportation facility for business community of South Punjab for the clearance of shipments at Multan Dry Port by connecting it with Sher Shah Railway Junction. He informed Federal Minister that Multan Dry Port is one of the most active and remote dry ports in the region which located in Multan Sher Shah for the facilitation of import and export shipments. Pakistan Railways should inaugurate cost-effective services for the transportation of shipments and facilitate traders of South Punjab.
Sheikh Rashid said that Pakistan Railways had set target of running 20 freight trains in the country for the facilitation of business community. He urged businessmen to run freight trains and pay rent to Pakistan Railways for utilization of services. He offered business community and industrialists to pay rent of Rs 2.3 million for the freight trains and avail the services of transportation of freight trains by utilizing services from Karachi to Multan per visit for shipping of import and export consignment to encourage business in the region.
He expressed satisfaction over the excellent Railways track in the country. He also extended offer for provision of coaches on rent basis for transportation of fruits and vegetables. He said that strict action would be initiated against passengers travelling without tickets. Speed of trains would be improved from 120km to 260km per hour, which will also save the time of business community he added.
Earlier, Muhammad Sarfraz, the president of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, presented different demands for restoration of Shah Rukn-e-Alam train, changes of coaches of Bahauddin Zakariya Express. He also requested for making Multan a stop of Green Line Express and launch facility of advance reservation particularly for traders and industrialists, changing of timings of trains running between Lahore and Multan.
He demanded of the Federal Minister for Railways to allocate quota for the business community in trains for their business trips. On this occasion, representatives from Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan and different chambers of south Punjab were also present. Federal Minister for Railway Sheikh Rasheed was also presented honorary Shield from Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on his visit.