BY ALI HAIDER
The Indian Railways was founded in 1861 and later converted into Pakistan Railways (PR) that fully operational in 1947 after independence of sub-continent into Pakistan and India. PR worked very well in the initial years but over the years it started facing problems and has come to the point of ‘bankruptcy’. The major reason for the decline was because of lack of formation of clear policies for the department and due to high political interference which had resulted in poor management of the state-owned federal department.
The economic development of any country without any doubt depends a lot on the efficient transportation system and logistic system of the country. Quality is one of the most important aspect when buying a product or enjoying a service so this paper will focus on the quality issues of Pakistan Railway.
Pakistan railway is the department controlled by the federal government under railway ministry of Pakistan, it was working very well in the early 90s but gradually started to decline and the major reasons that caused the decline included poor policies, lack of attention, misappropriation of the funds allocated by government, nepotism and pilferages.
The rulers focused on building the road networks in the past such as motorways considered it to be the ultimate development of transportation and completely ignored the existence of Pakistan railway and least upgradation and developments were made in this department. Even though when the motorway was being built on the estimated cost of Rs 24 billion there was an offer from Pakistan railway that they could upgrade their entire network in just Rs 10 billion and this offer was completely neglected. These decisions of the past governments impacted the quality of the Pakistan railway by decreasing it and resulting in decreased revenue and increase in expenditure.
There has been a great political intervention in Pakistan railway as political intervention has destroyed the whole HR system of Pakistan railway which has resulted in nepotism and not able to produce an efficient strategic plan for improvement. The recruitment, posting and promotions of the senior management to lower management of employees are done on the political basis which has created an atmosphere of non-skilled and demotivated workforce. This negative effect of political involvement has further caused inefficiencies and job insecurities in the department. In such scenarios if anyone wants to make effort for the department then even, they face a lot of barriers to fulfill their objectives.
Pakistan Railway is one of the departments that was preferred by most of the population as it was considered the most safe and quick mode of transportation, but the condition is very opposite in the current time.
There is need to create an accountability board for Pakistan Railway. The sole purpose of this board would be to have strict check and balance on all the department of the railways. If any individual of any department is under performing then, that person should be held accountable. The financial crises that are being faced by the Pakistan railway should be investigated properly so that if possible, recoveries could be made.
All the departments need to be given achievable goals by the Ministry of Railway and the senior general managers should be made responsible for devising strategies to fulfill those goals. The HR Department needs to develop training sessions to motivate the employees to work efficiently with respect to their job descriptions. It should be made sure by Pakistan’s Ministry of Railway that there shouldn’t be any political intervention by the government as favoritism has already destroyed the quality.