Government should focus on develing railways infrastructure to meet industries transportation needs

  • February 23, 2009
During previous years, apart from telecom, banking, pharmaceutical and other sectors, industrial sector also showed healthy growth, but unfortunately government could not develop the transportation infrastructure due to which industry is facing problems in smooth transportation of machinery, raw material and goods. One better way to cope with these challenges is to develop the role of railways for economical and safe transportation of goods and materials to facilitate the trade and industry, said Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. He said a well functioning railway system is crucial for sustainable economic growth as railways have a definite edge over roads for long haul and mass scale traffic movement, both for passenger and freight, as a safe, economical and environment friendly mode of transport.
ICCI President said that Pakistan Railways was the primary mode of transportation in the country till seventies, however he regretted that with the passage of time, the performance of Pakistan Railway has greatly declined and its share of inland traffic reduced from 41 percent to 10 percent for passenger and 73 percent to 4 percent for freight traffic. Therefore, he urged upon the government to focus more efforts on improving railways performance and on developing more railways network in the country to provide affordable logistics and transportation facilities to trade and industry as well as to general public. He said the performance of railways cargo service is very unsatisfactory as this service is mired by factors like delayed delivery, missing of goods and other issues and this area needs more attention to improve its working.
Mian Shaukat Masud suggested that government should establish an Export Goods Terminal in the outskirts of Karachi to provide warehousing facilities to exporters so that they could stock their exportable items in a safe and secure environment till the goods are shipped. He said sometimes, due to fault in trucks or other transportation problems, carriage of exportable goods gets delayed and due to non-availability of any export goods terminal in the vicinity of Karachi, businessmen have to face difficulties in keeping or storing their goods safely till sending them abroad. Therefore, establishment of such terminal is the dire need of the hour. Moreover, to curtail the rising traffic rush in big cities like Karachi Lahore & Islamabad/Rawalpindi, government should come up with mass transit systems in these cities to provide convenient transport facilities, he concluded.