Sunday, January 10, 2021

Railways Minister visits QICT, PIBT

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Federal Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, visited the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), a major container loading and unloading facility, under the auspices of the Dubai Port World where he was given a detailed presentation there. 

The Dubai Port World, commonly called as DP World, is regarded as the largest multinational firm, in terms of footprint, offering its services in the arena of port operations. 

The minister expressed the desire for exponentially increasing the volume of freight business in the country and declared it as the prime objective during his tenure.

"A vibrant freight service is the major way forward for a progressive and sustained economic growth,” he remarked during the presentation. 

The CEO Pakistan Railways, Nisar Ahmad Memon, apprised during the presentation that railways was working in full liaison with the DP world and the latter had been offered construction of a container terminal also. 

The minister also visited the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT), the imported coal unloading facility at Port Qasim, and reviewed a comprehensive presentation there. 

"Railways, freight and economy are three interdependent variables connected linearly with each other,” he stated at the presentation conclusion. He was presented with mementos at QICT and PIBT. 

The two terminals' visits were followed by the visit of Marshalling Yard Pipri (MYP). The minister was briefed, at length, there by the CEO Railways. He planted a sapling in the outskirts of the yard also.

Minister vows to double Railways freight volume

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Federal Minister for Railways, Muhammed Azam Khan Swati, has declared that annual freight revenue of Pakistan Railways will be doubled in few months from PKR 11 billion at present to PKR 22 billion. 

He made the pledge while talking to the media at the office of Divisional Railway Superintendent Karachi. "If I am unable to expand freight service then Railways may crumble like the Steel Mills,” he reckoned while vowing to go all out to increase the freight revenue. 

He remarked that one of his prime targets would be completely overcoming the losses and transforming the railways into a profit-earning entity.

The federal minister revealed that the railways' schools and hospitals would be outsourced in order to provide best educational and medical facilities to railways' employees and their children. 

He emphasized upon the role of media as fourth pillar of the state, adding that his department was accountable to media before the nation. 

Earlier the federal minister visited the Karachi Cantonment and the Karachi City Stations besides various stations on KCR loop and green line interchange area, the Diesel shed and Hasan Hospital under railways administration.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Railways minister visits KPT, Wazir Mansion

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

"The establishment of a marshalling yard in Wazir Mansion will prove immeasurably beneficial. The facility, if constructed, will be advantageous in terms of significantly enhancing port efficiency, drastically declining turnaround time for containers, massively curtailing the port area congestion and substantially escalating the freight service of Pakistan Railways."  
This was revealed during a presentation given to the newly appointed federal minister of Pailways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, who visited the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), along with the Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Railways, Nisar Ahmad Memon and other senior officers of the department, on January 7. 

Marshalling Yard is a place where railway wagons are shunted and shaped into form of trains besides placing engines and wagons there which are not in use. Currently Pakistan Railways operates a single marshalling yard in Karachi division that is located in Pipri.

During his visit to KPT, the Railways Minister was holistically briefed about 33 kilometers long rail network at KPT possessing a container handling capacity of 125 million tons. 

"Pakistan Railways and KPT can jointly make a difference and contribute enormously to economic development of the country,” the minister remarked on the occasion 

He also visited the Wazir Mansion station followed by South Asia Pacific Terminal (SAPT), the prime container loading facility in Karachi. 

He was given a detailed presentation regarding the operational parameters of SAPT with special focus on connectivity of SAPT with Pakistan Railways through rail network. The minister was also presented with a souvenir in SAPT.

Railways new minister calls for attainment of fiscal targets

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The newly inducted Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, has called for utilizing all resources to overcome losses and transforming the organization into a profitable entity. 

He was chairing a meeting at the office of Divisional Superintendent, Karachi, which was attended, among others, by the CEO of Pakistan Railways, Nisar Ahmad Memon, Additional General Manager (Traffic) Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, Divisional Superintendent Karachi, Arshad Salam Khattak, Project Director RBOD, Riaz Laghari, besides other officers. 

The minister was given a comprehensive presentation by the Divisional Superintendent Karachi regarding the division's performance with special focus on freight service and revival of Karachi Circular Railway besides the ongoing court cases particularly of encroachments and relevant matters.

“Railways should retain an unlimited potential which, if utilized properly, can usher the organization into a new era of economic prosperity and vitality,” the minister remarked while emphasizing the officers to demonstrate relentless devotion to their duties. 

He urged for continuous improvement in their working, punctuality in respect of passenger trains which, he added, would improve the public image the Railways. 

He called for greatly focusing on the attainment of given fiscal targets as being their central objective and said whole-hearted efforts be made for accomplishment.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Railways retrieve precious land in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
In continuation of the land retrieval and anti-encroachment drive launched by the Pakistan Railways Karachi Division about a couple of weeks ago, the department has swiftly retrieved its 42 acres of land worth billions of rupees from a famous cloths brand in Jama Goth Karachi. 

The land had been illegally occupied by a well-known cloths' brand for the last 25 years where they had constructed a warehouse/godown for commercial purposes. 

The failure in retrieving that land in the past had resulted in conclusion of departmental action against many officers of Karachi Railways. 

The Divisional Superintendent Karachi Railways, Arshad Salam Khattak, has commented the concerned divisional officers and its police force for accomplishing a major task. 

He announced that the Karachi railways' anti-encroachment and land-retrieval operations would be escalated further owing to categorical directives from the apex court on December 29. 

This was the third successful operation by the Karachi Railways' during the stern drive initiated on December 22 last year.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Dadu-Kotri rail infrastructure inspected

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The annual DS Special inspection of the 181-kilometere long single line ML-II track from Dadu to Kotri was carried out by the divisional officers of the Karachi division led by their Divisional Superintendent Arshad Salam Khattak. 

The Pakistan Railways operates 213Up/214Down Moen-jo-Daro Express destined between Kotri and Rohri on this line. 

The track and its right-of-way area were examined from the glass window, in the back, of the last coach during the running train as the process called as window trailing. The entire infrastructure entailing manned as well as unmanned level crossings, bridges, level between rails, conditions of stations and available record at all the stations en route were inspected physically by the visiting officers.

The anomalies that had been pointed out four months ago on August 24 during the inspection conducted by Federal Government Inspector of Railways FGIR had been rectified by the concerned officials and were appreciated by the Divisional Superintendent. 

The paraphernalia available to the level crossings' staff was checked and its operational understanding was judged during the inspection.  

Running test of deputed staff was also conducted that determined their physical ability to cope with any untoward situation. 

As per customary practice, cash prizes were also awarded to the staff members for their sound knowledge and display of masterful skills.

Monday, December 28, 2020

AKU nurses, midwives steal limelight

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Eight Pakistani nurses and midwives have been honoured in the global 2020 100 Outstanding Women Nurses and Midwives. 

All eight nurses and midwives from Pakistan happen to be faculty or alumni at the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM). 

One hundred nurses and midwives from 43 countries have been recognized for their contribution to raising healthcare standards across the globe, especially during these difficult times. These outstanding leaders have been acknowledged by Women in Global Health (WGH), which collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Population Fund, Nursing Now, International Council of Nurses and International Confederation of Midwives on the list. 

The recognition marked the end of the WHO’s yearlong Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 campaign, which recognizes the vital role of nurses and midwives in providing health services and in helping achieve targets under the global sustainable development goals. 

The School’s Dean Dr Rozina Karmaliani has been honoured under the Board and Management category in recognition of her efforts to spearhead improvements in adolescent health, strengthen research capacities and integrate research into education and practice.

Faculty members Yasmin Parpio and Samina Vertejee have been appreciated under the Community Hero category for their services in community health nursing, while Saima Sachwani is recognised for her contributions in developing impactful nursing curriculum under the Human Capital Development category. 

Nurse-midwife Marina Baig has also been lauded for leveraging mobile health technology to improve maternal health outcomes under the Innovation, Science & Health category. 

Three SONAM alumni have also been recognised under the Community Hero category which include Dr Shela Hirani for her efforts to promote, protect and support breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, Neelam Punjani for her work in improving access to sexual and reproductive health rights and Sadaf Saleem for her contributions to geriatric nursing. 

“It is an honour to be acknowledged by the international public health and nursing fraternity. This year has been particularly challenging for healthcare providers, all of whom have showed incredible commitment in their respective roles in responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” Dean Karmaliani remarked. 

“It’s encouraging to see that our government and healthcare stakeholders in Pakistan were coming together and deliberating on investing in nursing and midwifery education, practice and research. There is no better time than now to acknowledge the critical role of nurses in creating resilient healthcare systems,” she added.

The nominated women represent several hundreds of thousands of nurses and midwives globally who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and have shown courage and compassion while working in a variety of clinical and community settings and while training and building the skills of healthcare professionals. 

By acknowledging these nursing and midwifery leaders, WGH renews its call to WHO member nations to establish and support strategic leadership positions for nurses and midwives in health facilities, involve them in key decisions, support diversity in recruitment strategies, reduce the gender pay gap and ensure a safe work environment.