ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways is managing rehabilitation and special repair of 177 locomotives through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) at a cost of Rs 11.28 billion.
The repair of non-operational locomotives would improve their reliability and performance and ultimately prove to be an earning entity for the organisation.
According to an official statement on Tuesday, procurement of 58 locomotives has been approved and the contract was awarded to a Chinese company. So far all 58 locomotives have arrived in Pakistan.
Furthermore, tender for the procurement of 55 locomotives (4000-4500 HP) out of 75, is at an advance stage and would be decided in the near future.
With regard to a pilot project for manufacturing of five, 3,000 HP DE, locomotives at Locomotive Factory, Risalpur, the department said contract agreement has been signed and Letter of Credit (LC) was established. So far, five locomotives have been turned out and the project is expected to complete soon.
The department said 38 locomotives have been rolled out during 2013-14 and 39 locomotives turned out up to April 2015. Under new initiatives, the Railways ministry is making efforts to improve performance and achieve tangible results.
Listing the steps, the department said in line with government’s vision 2025, for infrastructure development during the next ten years, Pakistan Railways is to undertake necessary steps to increase its share in the overall transport sector from 4% to 20%.
The Railways ministry is also in process of preparing Railway Strategic Plan (RSP) to meet the targets set in the vision that would provide a long-term framework for railway sector development in the country.
The statement said the revival of Railways Board is being actively pursued as part of overall reform agenda, tariff is being regularly rationalised based on market dynamics, mainly to improve occupancy and increase revenue of railways and improve availability of locomotives through special repair of existing locomotives and procurement of new locomotives. The other steps include: oil reserve remained low (sufficient for two days), which has now been substantially enhanced to 12 days to streamline train operation, an introduction of a system as a pilot project in Lahore to improve pension disbursement, automation for pension payment. It would be expanded to entire railway system.
Pakistan Railway has also involved private sector in management and operation of terminal facilities including dry ports.
Prem Nagar dry port Lahore is the first successful model of joint venture between Pakistan Railways and two private parties. Moreover, the Real Estate Development and Marketing Company (REDMCO) has been established and registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with an aim to exploit the potential of railway land.
A comprehensive policy for disposal of surplus scrap has been introduced with an aim to improve financial position of railways through an open, fair and transparent process.
Investment planning through a system approach rather than functioning in isolation is being pursued and under this approach, investment in all components of railways system is being made.
The strategy is expected to bring significant improvement in near future.
The economic corridor development and regional connectivity are important initiatives, which are expected to play vital role in national economic growth. Upgradation of Mainline-1 (ML1) and construction of dry port and cargo handling facility have been included, as the Early Harvest Projects (EHP) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and preparatory work on these projects has been initiated on fast track basis.