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Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said on Sunday that train operation would be restored after the end of lockdown across the country.
He said this while talking to the media at Lahore Railway station after distributing food hampers among 1000 porters, sanitary and washing-line employees of lower scale.
He also saw off quarantine train comprising 30 coaches for Chaman , Balochistan to facilitate the citizens of the area. He said the PR had established hospitals in all seven divisional headquarters including Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Quetta and Karachi to deal with the coronavirus cases.
He said that quarantine train to Chaman would be a complete hospital with two medical coaches which would facilitate 500 patients.
The minister said that Railways was ready to send such mobile hospitals to Taftan or any other border in case of need. “It is our suggestion that railways can provide mobile hospital to the nation in the hard times with the help of medical coaches made by the British rulers before independence", he added.
The minister said the National Disaster Management Authority had given 10,000 masks to the railways while it would soon provide more masks for the protection of workshop workers and other PR employees.
Sheikh Rashid said the PR implemented on lockdown a bit late and transported 2,650,000 citizens from Karachi by 20 special trains, whereas India implemented lockdown without planning and 88 people lost their lives while going to their hometowns on foot due to unavailability of transport in India. He said the railways was planning to provide tickets at the doorstep of people so that they could reach at railway stations safely on time. The minister assured the porters that railways would try to arrange Rs 12,000 from Ehsaas Programme for each porter.
To a question, he said that all TLA employees would be regularized till June, adding that their case had been late due to coronavirus pandemic. Later, the minister distributed food hampers among porters. PR Chairman Habibur Rehman Gillani, Brig Mumtaz Ali, PR DS Lahore Amir Nisar Ch, PRP DIG Operations Shehzad Akbar and other senior officers were also present. It is pertinent to mention here that 3000 food hampers for porters and lower staff were donated by the Pakistan Army.
This article first appeared on www.brecorder.com
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