No layoffs in Railway despite suspension of 42 trains

By: News Desk      Published: 03:50 PM, 21 Mar, 2020
No layoffs in Railway despite suspension of 42 trains

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Saturday that there will be no layoffs amid the reduction of railway operations in the wake of the suspension of as many as 42 trains.

Speaking to the media in Lahore, the Railway Minister said “For now, we’ve decided to suspend 42 trains but we’ll resume as soon as the situation normalizes.”

He was alluding to the coronavirus pandemic that has created panic across the country, including a complete lockdown in Sindh, while a partial lockdown in Balochistan.

However, the minister said he agreed with the PM, who is opposed to the lockdown, but advised the people to travel only if it is extremely necessary, and added that the Railway will be provided with the screening equipment in two days.

The federal minister said that “If the Centre assumes the responsibility of the pensions of the Railways employees, half of its miseries will be resolved.”

Sheikh Rashid said that 12 trains would be suspended by tomorrow, and another 8 trains would be suspended by April 1. He added that 22 trains would stop functioning by March 24.

“There has been a 20% decline in the passengers, and I request the people not to travel on trains in the wake of the government’s move aimed at combating the coronavirus.”

The minister said “However those who already purchased the tickets could travel on any alternative train against their tickets, claiming the equivalent privileges.”

He told the media that until now Rs 80 million worth of tickets had been returned, and added that “Any person who wants to return the ticket will be refunded 100% of the amount.”