Body probes sale of tracks as trash

Pak­istan Rail­way's deficit

The Financial Daily - - ECONOMY & CONTINUATION -

ISLAMABAD: The se­nate body on rail­ways has been as­signed to probe into al­leged sale of rail­way-tracks by ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment in Pun­jab on throw­away prices and re­port within a week. As per com­mit­ment, the mat­ter was taken up even be­fore start of ques­tion hour. Leader of the House in Se­nate Nay­yar Hus­sain Bukhari in­formed the House that ac­cord­ing to the rail­ways min­istry re­port, the mater had noth­ing to do with it rather the ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment owned it. Sen­a­tor Muham­mad Ali Dur­rani had raised the mat­ter on Tues­day say­ing that rail track stretch­ing over 40 kilo­me­ters has been sold at just Rs90 mil­lion against the real value of Rs3 bil­lion. The state­ment by Nay­yar Bukhari drew crit­i­cism by mem­bers who ques­tioned as how rail­way min­istry can be ir­rel­e­vant from rail track as the ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment has noth­ing to do with the tracks. "This track was laid back in 1927. It has never been in use for pub­lic trans­porta­tion. If it is sold, it would have been done by the gov­ern­ment of Pun­jab," Nay­yar Bukhari told the House. Pro­fes­sor Khur­sheed ques- tioned as how ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment can lay the rail­way track. Sen­a­tor Dur­rani ob­served that the state­ment shows some scam be­hind cur­tain and termed it as du­bi­ous. He also quoted two let­ters by rail­ways min­istry ask­ing the ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment not to dig out rail track link­ing Ahmed­pur East with Pan­j­nad Head­works that had also the pro­vi­sion for con­nec­tion with Muzaf­far­garh and Dera Ghazi Khan. He was of the view that the rail was laid in 1927 when there was no ir­ri­ga­tion depart­ment. The track, he said was laid by owned by State of Ba­hawalpur and the fa­cil­ity was pro­vided by All In­dia authorities. Dur­rani said track had been used for trans­porta­tion of de­fense equip­ment till 1970 but now it was be­ing sold out speed­ily. He re­quested the chair to re­fer the mat­ter to stand­ing com­mit­tee con­cerned for in­ter­ro­ga­tion and that a stay or­der should be is­sued to sus­pend the ac­tiv­ity at the spot. The chair­man re­ferred the mat­ter to the stand­ing com­mit­tee on rail­ways and sought in­quiry re­port within a week; how­ever he de­clined to give stay or­der con­tend­ing that it did not fall un­der his purview. -Agen­cies

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