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ISLAMABAD: The freight sector has shown considerable improvement through transporting 25,054 tons per day from Karachi during the year 2020-21 as compared to the 23,051 tons per day during 2019-20 due to the consistent efforts of Pakistan Railways.

The official said that competitive freight rates to attract more traffic have been introduced while high capacity trucks have been inducted in the current fleet for swift movement/unloading of coal, an official told APP.

He said the outsourcing of freight trains has also been initiated under Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Company (PRFTC) to earn more revenue for the department.

“The commercial management of luggage vans and brake vans with different trains has been outsourced under public private partnership and online e-ticketing through Jazz Cash, UBL Omini and credit cards has been introduced to facilitate travelling passengers at their door steps and to attract more passengers,” he added.

The Freight Deposit Account (FDA) based agreements with different companies have been signed. He said the efforts have been undertaken to reduce trespassing, at un-manned level crossings and un-authorized locations. In this regard, 40 un-manned level crossings have been upgraded and manned and 1561 un-authorized locations (trespassing sides) have been closed.

As a result, the official said the number of accidents has drastically reduced from 145 in 2020 to 53 in 2021 during first six months of financial year 2021-2022.

“Pakistan Railways is trying its utmost to improve the efficiency of the trains and every train is being monitored,” he said.

To facilitate passengers, he said a mobile application ‘Pak rail live’ has also been launched for real time tracking of trains and due to close monitoring of trains at Divisional Headquarters and Ministry level, the punctuality of trains has improved from 63 percent in financial year 2019-20 to 80 percent in financial year 2020-21.

The official said the passenger fares have been revised as compared to road which has resulted in significant increase in number of passenger and subsequent revenue. To generate revenue, he said that handing over of Railway hospitals, schools and colleges on public private partnership mode is in progress which would generate more revenue for the department.

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