Agreement regarding branding of trains, stations signed

LAHORE: An agreement was signed between the Pakistan Railways (PR) and Pakistan Railway Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) regarding the branding of trains and railway stations at the PR Headquarters on Saturday.

PR Passengers Chief Commercial Manager Khalid Khursheed Kanwar and PRACS MD Shamim Ahmad Sherazi signed the agreement. Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique was also present.

According to the agreement, initially branding would be carried out at 14 railway stations besides using five trains for the purpose.

Five trains including Awam Express running between (Peshawar to Karachi), Hazara Express (Havelian to Karachi), Karachi Express (Lahore to Karachi), Khyber Mail (Peshawar to Karachi) and Tezgam (Rawalpindi to Karachi) while stations where branding would be carried out includes Hyderabad, Karachi Cantt, Karachi City, Khanewal, Lahore, Landhi, Multan, Peshawar Cantt, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Rohri, Wazirabad, Kot Lakhpat and Lahore Cantt.

Minister Saad Rafique said the branding of 14 railway stations and five trains would help in generating income of about Rs 140 million annually and in the second phase, this project would be expanded to other stations and trains.

He said PR had 527 railway stations and 50 passenger trains through which the railways was providing travelling and job opportunities to 80 million passengers annually, adding that with the passage of time, this strength was increasing and this increasing capacity could help any brand in achieving success.

Saad Rafique said that a decision had been made by the Ministry of Railways and PR Headquarters for giving labour benefit package to its staff which, he added, would be given technical allowance and one time benefit. “Under this package, Rs 390 million would be utilised in 2015-16 and 75,000 employees of scale 1 to 16 would get benefit from this package.”

The minister said the PR was making short-term investments to improve its efficiency, adding that work was being done with an approach to ensure the maximum improvement of the PR.

He said salary issue of Pakistan Railways Police would be resolved soon, adding that Rs 300 million have been set aside from the PR income for repair and maintenance of staff residencies and quarters.

Saad Rafique said out of this Rs 300 million, Rs 250 million would be utilised for maintenance and repair of the residencies of the officers whereas Rs 275,000,000 would be spent on the repair and maintenance of low staff residencies.

Speaking about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the minister said this issue should not be made controversial like Kalabagh and under the CPEC, Pakistan Railways would get $3.7 billion, which was a concessional loan.

He said this investment would be utilised on Mainline-1 (ML1), which he said was the lifeline of Pakistan Railways, adding that construction of ML-1 would make the railways self-reliant.

He said the ML-2 was also of high importance and expression of interest (EOI) had been issued regarding ML-2 and work was also being carried out for preparing feasibility report in this regard. The minister said feasibility work and land acquisition of ML-2 would be completed.

APP

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