RAWALPINDI - The Pakistan Railways on the directive of Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique have announced a reduction of over 10 percent in the long-distance rail fares for the passengers of Rawalpindi to Karachi.

Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO) Pakistan Railways, Rawalpindi Raza Habib talking to APP informed that in order to facilitate the rail passengers, Pakistan Railways have reduced Rs 600 from Rs 5990 to new fare Rs 5390 for the passengers to travel from Margala to Karachi Cantonment.

Similarly, the rail passengers of Rawalpindi to Karachi cantonment to pay Rs 5390 instead of Rs5990 old fare.  He further informed that due to enhanced security measures, quality service and punctuality, the rail passengers are increasing day by day and over 42,56,318 passengers traveled through the rail service during 2017 from Rawalpindi Division.  The division earned Rs1864.213 million last year, he added.

To a question he said, Pakistan Railways, Rawalpindi Division have earned Rs1497.362 million against the set target of Rs1479.389 million during last eight months of 2017-18 financial year.

Raza Habib informed that Rawalpindi division generated Rs17.964 million additional revenue during the period particularly from passenger service. The income of Rawalpindi Railways passenger trains remained Rs 1864.213 million, revenue generated by freight trains was Rs 448.728 million and other heads contributed Rs 290.919 million during last year, he added.

Due to continuous efforts and hardworking of railways management, officers and workers, Rawalpindi Division's income increased considerably, he informed.

Raza said, total earnings of Pakistan Railways including passengers, freight and other services were Rs 18 billion in 2013 but, this year during just first eight months of 2017-18 financial year, approximately Rs 31 billion have been earned.

Many initiatives were taken by the management to facilitate the passengers including E-Ticketing and duplicate ticket facility, Raza said adding, 16 CCTV cameras had been installed to ensure foolproof security of the passengers at platforms, while walk through gates, had also been installed at the entrance points.

Reply to another question, he said that scanners were installed at the station to check luggage, parcels and other items booked for transportation to other cities of the country.

"Pakistan Railways have stepped up the security of Railway Stations, Trains and strengthened the police force to ensure the safety of the passengers," the DCO added.

"Pakistan Railways is treating major stations like closed buildings and allowing the passengers to enter into Railway Stations only through walk-through gates, while commandos have been deployed at the stations and in the trains to maintain security and thwart any untoward incident," he said. Police also carry out random checks on trains and in stations with the aim to protecting the thousands of passengers who travel by trains, he added.

The placement of security cameras and deployment of police officers have helped ensure security of the passengers and the stations.

It is pertinent to mention here that the passengers of Pakistan Railways have expressed their delight over the reduction of train fares.

The citizens have welcomed the move with many of them saying this would encourage the people to travel to their destinations on train.

They said, an improvement was observed in Railways operations over the last five years.

Pakistan Railways was one of the neglected departments, but the incumbent government and current administration had turned things around, they added.