The Supreme Court (SC), against the fatal train crashes, has on Thursday directed Pakistan Railways to take immediate measures to make train travel safer.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to financial losses the Pakistan Railways department has been inflicting on the national kitty.
At the hearing, the country’s top adjudicator wondered where will Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed appoint 100,000 people as the railways already had 77,000 employees. The funds Pakistan would get from China for ML-1 project will go to new hiring, he remarked.
At this, the federal law officer replied that the government is trying cut the current strength of Pakistan Railways employees to 56,000 while 100,000 people will be recruited for the ML-1 project.
Coming down hard on the railway secretary, the chief justice said the top PR official was unable to run the department.
“The railway secretary, chief executive officer, and all divisional superintendents will have to be fired,” he added.
“Our railway system is such that the train chugs on the old tracks while countries around the world are running bullet trains.”
Earlier, at least 19 people have been killed as a train struck a passenger van at an unmanned railway crossing near Sheikhpura.
According to the District Police Officer Sheikhupura Ghazi Salahuddin, 15 pilgrims lost their lives as the Lahore-bound train from Karachi met with an accident near Farooqabad railway station.
According to railway officials, the accident took place at a train crossing without a barrier. All the wounded had been shifted to a nearby hospital.
Last year, Tezgam train, which was on its way from Karachi to Rawalpindi, had caught fire near Tanori Station Chak no. 6 Chani Goth.
According to the details, dozens had been wounded, whereas, 71 lost their lives dead after 3 bogies of Tezgam train caught fire near Liaquatpur.
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed blamed the passengers for bringing stoves into the train, saying Railways was not at fault.
The coach where the cylinder blasted was booked by the Taleeghi Jamaat’s men. They were boiling eggs on the gas stove to have breakfast when it exploded with a huge blast.