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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has planned to hand over its residential colonies to Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and Karachi-Electric for direct billing to minimise impact of difference of tariff and line losses on electricity bills.

“It is estimated that total amount of Rs 1800 million annually will be saved by the Pakistan Railways after completion of the project,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

As of now, he said that total 8856 residences out of 26874 have been shifted on direct billing by DISCOs.

He said that a Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) project of solarization of 181 stations was also under process. It was estimated that total amount of Rs.395million annually would be saved after completion of project.

A part from 181 stations, he said that Pakistan Railways has planned to shift its whole infrastructure on solar power. In this regard, an Un-Solicited Proposal (USP) was under consideration for solarization of Railways infrastructure.

The official said that it was estimated that the total amount of Rs.1000 million annually would be saved after approval and execution of USP.

He said that Pakistan Railways was trying its utmost to improve the punctuality of the trains and every train was being monitored and every detention of train was reviewed and rectified.

To facilitate passengers, the official said that a mobile application-Pakrail live has also been launched for real time tracking of the trains.

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 over 80 percent in financial Year 2020-21, he added.

To a question, he said that Pakistan Railways resumed Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Cargo Train in December 2021 after nine years. The project of Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Cargo Train was of supreme importance not only for Railways but for Pakistan also as it would maximize the economic efficiency through regional connectivity, he added.

“The train will play a pivotal role in enhancing trade relations among Iran-Pakistan and Turkey and develop long needed good will also,” he added.

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