| Updated at: 1817 PST, Thursday, November 10, 2011|
KARACHI: Pakistan Railways has decided to restore Shalimar Express train service between Karachi and Lahore from January next year through private sector.
The PR officials in Lahore told PPI on phone that ticket reservation and checking system of the train would be the responsibility of the private sector however he said that it could not be decided to whom the responsibility would be given. He said that a decision would soon be reached.
Meanwhile, sources in PR say that the department would earn Rs510 million annually from the deal. The train would depart to and from Lahore and Karachi at 6:30am on daily basis.
In Karachi, Chairman Pakistan Railways Workers' Union Chairman Manzoor Ahmed Razi criticized the decision and said that the move would further increase the deficit of Pakistan Railways. He said that if the private sector is interested in running trains then it should also bring its own locomotives, coaches and staff and use the tracks of the department.
"What kind of a deal is this when PR would be providing diesel, locomotives and staff and they would make profit only by selling tickets", he questioned.
He said that the proposal must be reconsidered and warned that if any agreement is reached then a nationwide protest will be launched by the employees of Pakistan Railways.