Pakistan Railways to Launch Electronic Tracking of Freight Trains – The Medi Telegraph
Lahore – Pakistani Federal Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati says electronic freight train tracking will be launched soon while a freight center will be set up in the Kot Lakhpat region of Lahore in collaboration with the private sector. The Minister on Friday met the President and members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and assured them that Pakistan Railways (PR) was ready for joint ventures with the private sector: “Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to provide all that is possible facilities to the business community and economic stability, – said the Minister. – PR activates dry ports to promote commercial activities. Modernizing the railways is key to boosting the Pakistani economy and reducing the cost of imports and exports. The private sector should initiate PR field projects in partnership as the railway land will not be sold but leased. Meanwhile, at the meeting, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah expressed hope that the situation would improve considerably after the completion of the ML-1 project: “Pakistani railways are a very important mode of transport and the rail freight service is cheaper than other means, ”said the Minister.
He went on to say that providing better services will more benefit the business community and lower costs for businesses. He said that due to the unavailability of freight wagons lately, traders had to transport goods by truck, which was sometimes three times more expensive than rail freight service: “Economic activities should increase due to the CPEC, therefore the railway must be modernized. New projects should be launched in collaboration with the private sector to modernize Pakistani railways, ”Swati said.
Misbah informed the minister that bonded and non-bonded containers were used for transportation while PR should give preference only to bonded containers and if there is extra space then bonded containers should be loaded: “Traders have five to seven days to clear shipments and this time should be extended to fifteen days, ”said the minister, adding that shipments are delayed due to the slowness of freight trains and that traders have to bear demurrage.