Over a third of Pakistani locomotives don`t work

Pakistan has only 520 locomotives and some 220 of the country`s locomotives are out of order.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2010, 12:33 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has only 520 locomotives as compared to India`s 8,300 -- and some 220 of the country`s locomotives are out of order, said a minister.

Pakistan Railways Federal Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said his ministry can`t give any deadline for overhauling the non-functioning locomotives without the government providing financial assistance, the News International reported Friday.
Bilour told reporters in Lahore that "there are a lot of difficulties and problems but resources are very limited".

On the shortage of locomotives, he pointed out that while there were 8,300 locomotives in India, the Pakistan Railways had only 520 of which some 220 were out of order.

"We can repair 110 locomotives but resources are not available. Railways run six trains from Karachi for different parts of the country but 40 trains could not be run due to the shortage of locomotive. If the government gives Rs.5 billion, we can make all locomotives operational," he said.

The minister said he had told parliament that the government should provide 400 locomotives to Pakistan Railways. He added that past governments promoted road transport and ignored railways.

"The government built motorways but the railway network could have been improved if the government had provided even half the motorway budget to it."

IANS