The train is a ride of the poor and cannot be stopped says Federal Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati.

Lahore 9th June 2021: The train is a ride of the poor and cannot be stopped says Federal Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati.

At least 63 people are killed and 107 others are injured in Ghotki Train accident, while 20 others are undergoing treatment in hospital and 3 are in ICU. We are making all arrangements for their treatment. I have visited them twice. I am an eyewitness to everything except the accident. I arrived there immediately on an army plane, and remained on the scene until the relief operation completed the next day. He himself supervised the evacuation of the injured and their transfer to hospitals.” These views were expressed by Federal Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati while addressing a press conference on the Ghotki train accident at Railway Headquarters Lahore on 9th June 2021.

He said that Rs 1.5 million would be paid to the families of the passengers killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 to Rs 300,000 to the injured. In this regard, he would also meet the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to decide what else can we do for the injured?. Referring to the Railway Track, he said that from 2014 to date, no expenditure has been incurred on the main line except maintenance. This part of the track was maintained for up to eight miles and there was little chance of any problems. Speed ??is reduced when the track is damaged. With reference to this track, I have said that it is a dangerous track. It has been restricted in many places to determine the speed. I have personally inspected the track of Sukkur division. Pakistan is a poor country. Our coaches are 50 years old. Only two coaches of power plant are new. Regarding the safety of the railway track, the Federal Minister for Railways further said that the requirement regarding ML-I has been fulfilled. There are two ways to renovate the track, one is maintenance and the other is upgrading. The track has to be upgraded. The coaches, engines and freight wagons will remain the same but there is no other way but to upgrade the track. The Federal Minister for Railways said that he believes in accountability. Accountability should be from top to bottom. He said that we have decided to seek permission from the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to lay at least a new track from Kotri to Khanpur which is 140 km long. If this track is built then three provinces will benefit from it. Referring to the train accident, he said that the first accident of derailment took place at 3.38 am and the black box of both the trains has been recovered. The inquiry will be completed under the supervision of FGIR. Two independent officers will also investigate the accident with Federal Government Inspector of Railways. Twelve derailed bogies of Millat Express are the cause of the accident. This is the second such accident while the first accident was of three trains of the same type in 1990. The time was so short that the brakes could not be applied, the driver of the Sir Syed Express did not get a chance. The armed forces, rangers and civil society also took part in the rescue operation. Pakistan Railway has to refund about Rs.23 million due to Ghotki accident. Replying to a journalist's question, the Federal Minister for Railways said that Pakistan Railways is Pakistan's property. The train is a ride of the poor and cannot be stopped. The Federal Minister for Railways on the occasion of a press conference at the Railway Headquarters Office Lahore also prayed of the passengers who died in the Ghotki accident.