Pakistan Railways has proposed Rs 67.524 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2017-18.
The government has released Rs 33.86 billion under the PSDP for different development projects of Pakistan Railway against total budgeted allocation of Rs 41 billion for current fiscal year 2016-17 so far.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways was briefed by the ministry on budgetary proposals relating to the PSDP for the financial year 2017-18 along with its total utilization of budget and year of completion.
The committee was informed that nine projects would be completed by the end of June 2017. The total proposed allocation for ongoing and new projects would be Rs 67.252 billion out of which 92% have been allocated for the completion of ongoing projects, and 8% for new projects. The committee recommended that projects may be completed within specified time period.
The committee was told that 38 projects are under the process and 19 of those projects are new.
The committee was also given a briefing on unauthorized occupation (slums) on the Railways’ land. It was informed that about 188 slums exist on Railways’ land all over the country including 107 in Punjab, 80 in Sindh and 1 in KPK. For the regularization of slums on Pakistan Railways’ land, the department had issued 95 NOCs.
According to the terms and conditions agreed upon between Pakistan Railway and DG Katchi Abadi while issuing the NOC by the Pakistan railways, the area earmarked for railway requirement (operational, commercial and residential) will not be granted NOC and encroachments on this area shall be relocated by DG Katchi Abadis as mutually decided.
It further incorporated that boundary wall around the Katchi Abadis, cordoning it of from Railways land, should be constructed by the provincial government as per already agreed joint demarcation to avoid future expansion of katchi abadis.
Encroachments within 50 feet from the outer most tracks or any area shown to be vacant on the plans of 1985 should be vacated by the Katchi Abadis Directorate.
The cost of shifting of the railway utility services, which would be required to be relocated as a consequence of grant of permanent status to any katchi abadi, will be borne by DG Katchi Abadis as per railway estimates, utilities to katchi Abadis shall be provided by concerned authorities dealing in such utilities.
Cost of land on agreed rates will be paid to railway by the Directorate General of Katchi Abadis, it further includes.
The committee was told that keeping the sensitivity of the issue in mind, the GIS-based computerized survey is also being conducted by PD/PMU which is still in progress. The details are being compiled containing the number of dwellers and area occupied by individuals.
The committee decided to appoint a sub-committee under the convenership of Ramesh Lal to examine the encroachments on Pakistan Railways’ land in Balochistan and Sindh.