ATTOCK: Prime Minister Imran Khan has inaugurated Hasanabdal railway station which has been reconstructed after 127 years, ARY News reported on Friday.
PM Imran Khan inaugurated Hasanabdal railway station located in Punjab’s Attock city. He also inspected the special train prepared for facilitating Sikh yatrees.
During the inauguration, PM Imran Khan was accompanied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Shah Farman, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed, Murad Saeed, Malik Amin Aslam and others.
Imran Khan, while addressing the inauguration ceremony, said that railway is the transportation facility of a common man and it will be moved to its next level after the completion of the ML-1 project.
He said that the negligence of rulers resulted in reduction of 50-kilometre railway tracks as compared to the railway lines established in British-era. The premier said that China has laid railways line across the country besides effective steps to make it a fast transportation service.
The premier said that the travel time will be shrunk to seven hours between Karachi and Lahore after the completion of ML-1 railway line project. It will be a model railway for the country which will enhance the railway sector to its next level.
“Pakistan Railways will play an important role in the economic development of the country.”
PM Khan also expressed willingness to focus on bringing improvements in religious spots of minorities in order to increase the arrival of foreign tourists. He said that many holy places of Sikhs are located in Pakistan and the federal government will provide maximum facilities to the yatrees.
“We are taking steps to promote tourism as the country will not be bound anymore to [acquire loans from] IMF [International Monetary Fund] if this sector gets developed.” PM Khan said that he wanted to make Pakistan an economically strong state.
Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that guest houses were constructed at the railway stations for Sikh yatrees. He said that the development work on the ML-1 project had been initiated 16 years ago. He added that ECNEC approved ML-1 project and 90 per cent local labour will be recruited.
The minister said that the railway sector bore a financial loss due to five-month closure of train operation, however, the technical allowance of 33,780 labourers was increased. He said that the department maintained a zero-tolerance policy on corruption.
Rasheed said that history will prove that Imran Khan is taking the country forward. He added that Imran Khan will soon eliminate inflation and unemployment in the country.
British era railway station of Hasanabdal has been re-constructed after 127 years with the cost of Rs300 million. The government took initiative to facilitate the masses and the Sikh pilgrims who reached there to visit their holy worship place Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib.
Sources added that the two-story railway station building covers 24,502 square feet space and 101,610 square feet external development area has been allocated for passengers’ facilities. The upgradation plan of the railway station was also a part of the government’s tourism design.