The Senate Standing Committee on Railways deliberated on the recent train accidents in the country and discussed ways to avoid them.
The senate panel met under the chairmanship of Senator Asad Ali Junejo in the Parliament House on Thursday.
Briefing the committee, the Ministry of Railways officials stated that six train accidents had occurred in the country from July 14 to August 3 of which three accidents were related to passenger trains and one to cargo.
Railways Secretary Habibur Rehman Gillani noted that a committee had been formed to identify those responsible for the accidents.
He maintained that railway safety protocols were being strictly followed and the performance of the officers responsible for ensuring safety of the passengers was being monitored.
He said that more than 500 unauthorised crossings had been closed down.
The railways officials maintained that several accidents had occurred due to the faults of the people, while others had happened due to technical faults in which no loss of life was reported.
The committee chairman asked the officials to explain in the next meeting that how a train came off the track when the brakes were applied.
Responding to Senator Usman Kakar’s question, the panel was briefed on the progress made on ML-1, ML-2, ML-3 and ML-4 projects.
The committee sought a detailed briefing on these projects in the next session.
Stressing on the importance of Gwadar and Chaman, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi observed that the future lied in these routes through which Central Asian countries could be accessed via Afghanistan.
The railway officials informed the panel that the feasibility study from Gwadar to Besima and Quetta was finalised, while the feasibility for the railway track from Quetta to Kotla Jam had now been completed.
The committee members unanimously suggested to address the concerns of the underdeveloped provinces and demanded that the requirement of railways land in these areas and a feasibility report for the purpose should be submitted to it.
The committee chairman pointed out that the government had still not paid compensation to the families of the victims of Multan Division train accident.
He directed the authorities concerned to remove the hurdles in consultation with the law ministry in this regard.
Senators Brig (retd) Kenneth Williams, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Imamdin Shaukeen, Usman Kakar, Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Khushbakht Shujaat and senior officials of the railways’ ministry participated in the meeting.