Sehwan Sharif, Sindh: The Pakistan Railways has curtailed the number of passenger trains on important Kotri-Dadu-Rohri section from 10 to just 2, causing immense problems for passengers.
Last year 10 passenger trains used to run on this busy section of interior Sindh, widely used by devotees of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar; however, presently only two trains, Bolan Mail and Khushal Khan Khattak Express are running on this section. These trains also run on night hours and are often five to six hours late.
There are hundreds of towns and villages situated on both sides of this section, but a huge population of the area is forced to use expensive private road-based transport. There are dozens of big and small railway stations on this section including Kotri, Sindh University, Sehwan Sharif, Dadu, Radhan, Moenjodaro, Larkana, Habibkot, Sukkur and Rohri. Platform vendors of these railway stations are facing huge losses due to stoppage of passenger trains.
The local traders are also facing problems due to halt of passenger trains on this section. Every day thousands of people visit the shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan Sharif and halting of trains is also compelling them to travel in private buses and coaches paying higher fares.
It is said that rampant corruption in railway department is the main cause of halting trains on this section. It is said the railway police and ticket checkers allow passengers to travel on train without buying tickets if they give 20 t0 30percent amount of ticket to them. Due to this huge corruption, though these trains run at full capacity with passengers even sitting in corridors but the railway department not getting proper revenue, as hardly 5 to 10 percent passengers using these trains buy tickets.
Local social and trade circles have expressed grave concern on closure of 8 passenger trains on this highly lucrative section and demanded of the Pakistan Railway and Railway Police authorities to stop corruption and irregularities and depute honest officials and enhance checking and monitoring system so that the huge leakage of ticket revenue could be stopped on one hand and better rail travel facilities could be provided to people. They demanded of the Pakistan Railway to restart the eight closed passenger trains on this section as soon as possible.