ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel, on Tuesday, expressed serious reservation on the auction policy of the Pakistan Railways (PR) and directed for providing the detail of auction of scrap for the last five years.
The meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways held under the chairmanship of Mueen Watto. The committee approved the minutes of its meeting held on 3rd June 2021.
The committee expressed its reservation on the poor implementation of the previous recommendations made in a different meeting, specially the recommendations regarding negotiation with the illegal encroachers and vacation of commercial railways land from the land grabbers.
Further, the committee also reiterated on the issue of regularisation of staff, clearance of retiring benefits and dues of railways employees.
The committee discussed the report of the Sub-Committee and approved its recommendations. During the discussion, the members of the committee raised objection as the Minister for Railways did not attend a single meeting of the standing committee so far.
The derailment of Sir Syed Express train also came under discussion and the committee recommended that compensation to the injured and the legal heirs of dead passengers should be made at the earliest after completion of all legal requirements.
The committee has reservation on the auction policy and recommended that the said policy should be improved by Railways.
Chief Controller Purchase was directed to provide the detail of auction of scrap for the last five years.
The committee was of the view that the contractors are running the trains professionally and earning more profit as compared to the railways which leaves a question mark on the professional people of the Pakistan Railways.
The committee also discussed the present status of the ML-I project, which is pending since long and the committee has always been briefed by the railways that the project will be started soon in every briefing.
Lastly, the Ministry of Railways briefed the committee that Chinese loan have been approved but in spite of that there is no ground progress.
The committee recommended that the said project may be launched at the earliest for its timely completion.
Railways Golf and Country Club has already been taken over by the railways and will be outsourced soon after legal and other formalities are met.
However, the committee emphasised its previous recommendations that Railways should take over the financial matters of the club and the amount so earned by the club must be in the account of Pakistan Railways.
On the agenda item pertaining to the damage of wall of Dargah at Kotri, Railways informed that six employees have been identified and proceedings against them are underway.
Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) project at Chaman, Balochistan have been settled and railways issued tender for development activities over there.
The CEO railways informed the committee that there is a shortage of Rs7.50 billion to pay the retirement benefit to the employees of the railways and the Committee recommended that the Federal Government may provide the funds for clearance of the said dues.
The Committee also recommended that the sub engineer appointed on contract in railways may be regularised as they got training from railways academy at Walton.
The Committee also recommended that the shops and khokha sealed by railways may be de-sealed as the people intend to pay current rent along with outstanding amount in instalments.
The Committee also discussed the performance of present Divisional Superintendent Sukkur Division and recommended to remove him due to frequent derailment of trains in his jurisdiction.
The Committee appointed Sub-Committee under the convenorship of Hamid Hameed with the composition having members, Dr Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Engr Sabir Hussain Kaimkhani and Ramesh Lal.
The following members, Sheikh Rashid Shafique, Amjad Ali Khan, Tahir Iqbal, Engr Sabir Hussain Kaimkhani, Muhammad Hamid Hameed, Ali Pervaiz, Muhammad Khan Daha, Nauman Islam Shaikh, Ramesh Lal, Muhammad Bashir Khan, Pir Syed Fazal Ali Shah Gillani, Dr Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla and Nusrat Wahid attended the meeting.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021