Pakistan Railways – Is there any hope left?
Pakistan Railways is a national transport service. It gives an important mode of transportation in the most remote corners of the nation and brings them closer for sight-seeing, business, journey and education. Railway has been a cheapest mode of transportation for people in Pakistan.
This inexpensive and safe mode for people is presently confronting various issues. A number of services of Pakistan Railways have been suspended, cancelled or ended and if this condition stays, many more will be suspended in the near future, because of mismanagement and lack of locomotives, fuel and cash.
The incompetent management has failed to attain trains from any quarter of the world. Passengers are suffering because of mismanagement of the management. Pakistan Railways decision to suspend goods train benefit because of serious lack of trains and fuel is another misfortune to this organization. It is our hard luck that this organization is on the verge of financial collapse.
In Pakistan, train were the essential mode of transport until the 1970s, but since then their share has declined because of a shift in government focus from rail to road transport. From 2005 to 2010, budgetary use on railways was just Rs45.5bn as compared with Rs155bn on the national highways.
The political interference, corruption, nepotism, poor maintenance of tracks & platforms and mismanagement in every field are the reasons for the failure of Pakistan Railways. Pakistan Railways obtained 69 completely assembled locomotive units from China under 2003 agreement. These are around 37% less expensive than the European trains, but are faulty. It is expressed that 32 of these have as of now been scrapped.
It is unfortunate for Pakistan that most of our Railway ministers were completely incapable to become on that post. Especially, our last minister, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour was a very controversial figure. He is thought to be the most responsible person for the declining situation of Pakistan Railways. The basic reason behind all this was his own personal business of transportation. How is it possible for a person to dumb his business with his own hands? He never pay attention to Pakistan Railways and his competency is evident from its nearly nil performance.
If Govt. seriously want to improve railway system, than they must depoliticize the ministry of railway. It is required to bring a person with positive and clean background to improve the system and eradicate the corruption from the department. It is impossible to change this situation, unless corrupt high-ups are suspended, removed and dismissed from the service. To rebuild and modernize Pakistan Railways under the present administration seems to be the fantasy of a mad man. Pakistan Railways is sinking in the ocean of corruption as no serious efforts are being made to eliminate it from this department.