PR earns over Rs 6.84 mln in four years through saloons

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : Pakistan Railways has generated revenue worth over Rs 6.84 million through utilizing its 23 saloons and inspection coaches for commercial purposes, during the last four years.


“At present, Pakistan Railways has only 23 saloons and inspection coaches with different dignitaries of the country who are entitled to use these saloons when needed,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.


Giving the details, he said, “Two highly luxurious coaches have been allocated for the Prime Minister’s Secretariat while four coaches have been allocated for the Minister for Railways, Secretary/Chairman of Railways, and another senior official in the ministry.”


The official said, “Only one saloon has been allocated to the federal government while one each has been allocated to the Governors of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and the provincial governments.”


In addition, eight saloons had been allocated for the Railway Headquarters Lahore, in which one each would be marked to Chief Executive Officer/General Manager (BS-22), Additional General Manager BS-21, Inspector General Railway Police, Federal Government Inspector, and four salons were allocated for Principal Officers, he added.


The official said six saloons had been allocated for Divisional Superintendents of Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Sukkur, Lahore, and Karachi.


He said that the Principal Officers of Pakistan Railways were entitled to travel at these saloons or inspection coaches only when they were on duty.


Above all, they said luxury saloons were also available for private travel on a rental basis.


The official said the saloons were very luxurious and had two rooms, a bath, a dining area, and a kitchen like a tiny house on wheels with the availability of every facility.


He said some of these saloons were inspection coaches and their back wall was made of glass from where officers could view the track and surrounding area.


“Pakistan Railways officers are not entitled to use this facility other than duty and all these salons are mostly 40-50 years old,” he added.


To a question, he said Pakistan Railways has launched an awareness campaign to educate the public about the risks associated with trespassing, crossing railway tracks, and carrying prohibited items such as gas cylinders, weapons without a license, cartridges, drugs, and daggers.


“The campaign is launched on the directives of Minister for Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar and Secretary Syed Mazhar Ali Shah which will not help the department to control accidents but also win the confidence of the passengers of the rail” he said.


The official said, “Pakistan Railways will use all the social media platforms including print, electronic media, Twitter, Facebook, poster and pamphlets to create an awareness among the citizens about a safe train journey.”


He said the department has also asked all the divisional superintendents to ensure checking of luggage of passengers at entry points with scanners, metal detectors and walkthrough gates.


The official said Pakistan Railways had always given importance to the safety of citizens and its passengers.
“It has been directed to discourage and stop those passengers who are carrying prohibited products. It is suggested to install emergency doors and auto-lock doors in coaches in case of any emergency,” he added.


The official urged the citizens to stop at the level crossing before crossing the track, look on both sides of the track and wait for the train to pass if any train was coming.


He said that double whistle boards had been provided at most level crossings where train drivers were bound to play horns to warn the road users about train arrival.