ISLAMABAD20 September — The government has allocated approximately Rs 50 million to the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), 2020-21, for the improvement and refurbishment of train stations across the country.
The refurbishment of the train stations was approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in 2018 and the department has already upgraded six train stations in different parts of the country, a Ministry of Railways official told APP.
He said the names of the upgraded train stations were Bahawalpur, Raiwind, Narowal, Okara, Sahiwal and Gujranwala. The upgrade work of the five train stations, including Hassan Abdal, Nakana Sahib, Peshawar Cantonment, Karachi Cantonment and Lahore, was underway and would be completed soon.
The officer said the basic purpose of the upgrade was to facilitate the passengers, improve the prospects and modernize the train stations. Pakistan Railways has upgraded the passenger waiting rooms, prayer area, operating offices, water filter plant, toilets, passenger shelter, platforms, ticket counters, parking area and external development work.
Regarding the two major train stations Rawalpindi and Rohri, he said that the tenders were driven and that they were approved.
The current government has encouraged private partners and builders to refurbish and upgrade train stations.
Pakistan Railways also planned to rebuild 11 bridges and repair another 55 across the country to keep the trains and passenger safety running smoothly.
The department would reconstruct three bridges in Sukkur division, six in Multan and two in Lahore. Over the repair of bridges in different divisions, Pakistan Railways planned to repair 34 bridges in Karachi, 11 in Sukkur, two in Multan, five in Rawalpindi, two in Peshawar and one in Quetta.
About 86 percent of the bridges were over 100 years old, but all were safe for train management due to regular maintenance, rehabilitation and strengthening of the bridges.
Pakistani railways have 13,959 large and small bridges over the system and their lifespan of the design varies for different years. The standard procedure requires that the bridges be inspected according to the different schedules, such as monthly, quarterly, biennially and annually.