ISLAMABAD: Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday expressed the confidence that the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project would be operationalized in six months in collaboration with the Sindh government.
Responding to a question during Question Hour in the National Assembly, Sheikh Rasheed said the Supreme Court had directed to complete the project in six months.
He said that the federal and the Sindh governments were on the same page in materializing the much-awaited project.
The railways minister said housing colonies were illegally constructed on railways land and financial crunch were the biggest hurdles in this regard.
Responding to another question, Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Farrukh Habib informed the House that 550 vulnerable unmanned level crossings throughout Pakistan Railways network had been upgraded in collaboration with respective provincial governments to prevent accidents in the future.
He said old age kerosene oil based signals had been converted to LED lights on mainline, which had better visibility.
Farrukh Habib said that cameras were being installed inside the locomotives, while online inspection of officers and staff was also being ensured. Besides training and monitoring, two thousand fire extinguishers will be installed in trains by the end of March.
At the outset, the House offered fateha for the PAF pilot who was martyred when his plane crashed during rehearsal for Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on Wednesday morning.
Maulana Akbar Chitrali led the fateha.
Responding to a question, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri rejected the impression that his ministry received interest on Hajj dues submitted by intending pilgrims in various banks. He said amount of Hajj dues was kept in Islamic Banking or interest free accounts and there was no question of receiving interest.
The minister said process for hiring of accommodation, food, transport and allied services started immediately after conclusion of previous Hajj operation, advance payments had to be made to the owners as contractual obligations. “It is not possible to get payment from successful pilgrims after lucky draw as advance payment is required to be made to different contractors and Saudi Arabian departments, therefore, Hajj dues from the successful applicants cannot be received after ballot,” he said.
Answering a question, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, Dr Nousheen Hamid said complete screening of passengers landing at Pakistani airports was being ensured to check coronavirus endemic.
She said the staff engaged in the screening had been provided with complete protective gear.
Answering another question, she said regular surveillance of drug sale outlets was carried out to ensure detection of any fake or un-registered medicines.
Dr Nousheen Hamid said a raid was conducted on a house in Islamabad and recovered 93 different medicines including vitamins, herbal and homeo medicines stocked there by the Shaheen pharmacy. She said out of the recovered medicines, around 50 different medicines were not enlisted by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan. “Other major pharmacies operating in Islamabad were also inspected but no fake or un-registered medicines were recovered from them,” she said.
Responding to a question, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Alia Hamza Malik informed the House that government was giving subsidy of 15 billion rupees on essential items through Utility Stores.
The House today passed “The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020.
The bill is aimed at making provisions for raising alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children.
Three bills were also introduced in the House which include, “ Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020”, “The Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020” and “The Motion Pictures Ordinance (Amendment) Bill, 2020”.
The House will now meet again on Friday at 10:30 in the morning.