Contract of Shalimar express awarded for Rs. 1.8 billion
LAHORE - The Pakistan Railways (PR) has awarded a two-year contract to S. Jamil and Company to run Shalimar Express on highest bidding of Rs. 1.8 billion.
An agreement signing ceremony in this regard was held at Railways headquarters in presence of Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. The contract has been awarded for two years on total amount of Rs. 1.8 billion while an amount of Rs. 1.9 million will be submitted to the Pakistan Railways in advance. Moreover, the company will make payment of Rs. 30.43 million weekly.
Around 12 companies had shown interest in running Shalimar Express including Daewoo, Al Baraka, Mazari Group and others but they could not win the project during the bidding. According to the privatisation agreement, the Pakistan Railways will hold trains operational system while private sector will hold train management.
Pakistan Railways was earning Rs. 660 million annually from privatization of Shalimar Express train during the last five years. The train that runs between Lahore and Karachi daily was given to private sector in 2012.
Later talking to media, Railways Minister Saad Rafique said that now the losses of the department have been reduced to Rs. 27 billion which were Rs. 33 billion in 2013. He said that after upgradation of railway track, trains will run at the speed of 160 kilometer per hour. He claimed that the condition of railways was much better than in 2013. He said Pakistan Railways had introduced e-ticketing system for 40 trains to facilitate passengers in booking their seats from anywhere across the country.
The minister said that with the passage of time the condition of all trains would improve, adding that criticism was good but positive steps should also be appreciated.