Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed inaugurated two new train services at a ceremony held at Sukkur recently.

The Moenjodaro Express will run between Rohri and Kotri and Rohri Express between Rohri and Khanpur.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, the minister announced that a third one, a fast express train, would also be launched from Sukkur soon. The gift of the third train would be given to Sindh within 100 days, he added.

He said that directives had been issued to the Railways administration that train fare should not be charged from the poor passengers if they were found travelling without a ticket. However, others must not be spared.

He said that he was making efforts to recruit10,000 people in this institution but for the time being he was authorised to recruit 2,031 people.

Sheikh Rashid said that Railways could further strengthen the China-Pakistan bond of friendship as the rail network was a vital part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Railways would soon launch two business-class trains and by the end of this year, a bigger rail network in the country would be there.

In reply to a question, he said that Pakistan Railways had over 100,000 acres of land and the encroached upon portions of it would be retrieved. However, he added, katchi abadis would not be disturbed.

The minister said that if any irregularity was detected in the working of the Railways, the officers up to the level of divisional superintendent would be held responsible for it.

The Moenjodaro Express was revived after a six year gap when it started plying on Rohri-Karachi route on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Railways had discontinued the train service on this route due to financial losses in 2012. A large number of people drawn from different shades of life welcomed the train on its arrival at the Larkana Junction station.

With traditional drum beating and people carrying the national flag, the decorated train was received with enthusiasm. They garlanded the PR staff on the train.

Abdul Ghaffar Shaikh, president of the Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and others also welcomed the government`s gesture and expected that more trains would also be restored on this track.

The train service would offer comfortable journey to traders and common commuters, he said.

Pakistan Railways Divisional Superintendent (DS) at Karachi Arslan Islam Khattak inaugurated the restored train services at a ceremony held on Tuesday at Kotri station.

Rashid Mahisar, a Railways officer, said it was good omen that the people of Larkana had received the train enthusiastically. He said the train would leave Rohri at 7am and reach at its destination at Kotri at 6pm, with 20 short stopovers in between. He said the Railways authorities intended to restore two more trains on this route.

The ceremony was attended by Railways officials, passengers and people from different walks of life.

After the ceremony, the Moenjodaro Express set off for Rohri via Jamshoro, Khanot, Manjhand, Budhapur, Sann, Laky Shah Saddar, Sehwan and Bhan Sayedabad stations.

Station Master at Dadu Amir Bux Qureshi said that it was on Dec 27, 2007 when both trains were closed on this track as most of the coaches were set ablaze in reaction to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that day.

A larch number of people had gathered at the Dadu station to welcome Moenjodaro Express coming from Kotri to see the service passing through Dadu after 10 years` gap.


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