Railways suspends passenger trains across the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways on Tuesday decided to suspend passengers train operation across the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The train services would remain suspended throughout the country 24:00 Hrs with effect from March 24 to March 31, said a notification issued by the Ministry of Railways.
The passengers who have advance booking on suspended trains would be accommodated in other trains of their choice on priority once the train service is resumed.
In case of not availing the ticket they would get full refund after resumption of train operations, the notification added.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday expressed fear to announce suspension of passengers trains following coronavirus spread in near future. “We are discussing suspension of passenger trains with PM Imran Khan. And after getting the PM’s advice, Pakistan Railways would be able to announce suspension of passenger trains due to epidemic COVID-19,” he said while talking to a private news channel.
Sheikh Rashid said that at least 40 passenger trains were already suspended, however, 108 trains are still on tracks. He said that Pakistan Railways earned from passengers to pay the salaries of railway staff and the middle and poor classes use railways as effective tool of transportation.
The minister said that the Sindh government did not inform prior to the Ministry of Railways about lockdown, causing panic for passengers.
“It was dire need to continue freight trains as it was mandatory to shift crops, edibles and other items from one place to other parts of the country,” he said. He said that Pakistan Railways earned Rs10 billion profit during last fiscal year and after payment of petroleum charges and procurement of engines, it successfully saved Rs 4 billion. – TLTP

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