Senate: (21 Railway Stations to be up-graded in three years: Minister)

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Wednesday that Pakistan Railway plans to induct 250 new passenger coaches to provide better travelling facilities to the commuters.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq told the House during question hour that about 180 coaches will be locally manufactured in Carriage Factory Islamabad.

He said a tender for procurement of eight hundred high capacity hopper wagons for transportation of goods is in progress out of which, five hundred and ninety five wagons will be manufactured at the carriage factory.

To a question, Khawaja Saad Rafiq said that the Chinese side has expressed the commitment to upgrade Peshawar-Karachi rail line by 2020 under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

He said the government has targeted upgradation of 21 railways stations in the country with a total outlay of Rs 1956 million to be spent during the next three years.

Minister of State for Interior Baligh-ur-Rehman told the House that the US is to provide five hundred and nineteen million rupees for various projects to counter narcotics.

Minister for SAFRAON Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House that 319 new schemes have been included in the Annual Development Programme for FATA. Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada said the government is serious for implementation of Urdu as the official language and for this purpose a committee consisting of federal ministers has also been constituted.

The chair advised the government to summon an in-camera session of the parliament or the Senate for a detailed briefing on foreign policy and implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism. He hoped the government will give due consideration to his advice.

Earlier, responding to a call attention notice, Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz told the House that no decision has been taken to sell the building of former Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC. He said different options are being considered and several embassies have shown interest to take this building on rent.