LAHORE: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Sunday urged the provincial governments to give payments as per law and rules to the railways to convert unmanned level crossings into manned ones.

Speaking at a press conference here at Railways Headquarters, Saad Rafique said today six people had lost their precious lives in a collision between Shalimar Express and a car at unmanned level crossing near Gojra.

He said the train was running at the speed of 105 KM per hour when unfortunately the incident occurred.

He said under railway act 1890 installations of gates at level crossings and expenses of staff was the responsibility of the provincial governments.

The minister said unfortunately before the last three and a half years there was no scheme or project to convert unmanned level crossings into manned level crossing.

He added during the Pakistan Peoples Party tenure only seven level crossings were converted into manned level crossing.

The minister said there were some 1,150 unmanned level crossings in Punjab, 133 in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa, 504 in Sindh and 86 in Balochistan.

He added Rs 25 billion were required to convert these unmanned level crossings into manned level crossing.

The provincial governments had been contacted many times so that they could extend their cooperation and play their due role in this regard, he said.

The minister said existing standard operating procedures were being followed, adding that so far no mistake of system was found.

Efforts were being made to install Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking system in locomotives which would provide information to the driver about things coming ahead, he added.

The minister said sincere efforts were being made to deal with all problems to enhance the maximum performance of the railways.

Six killed as train hits car near Gojra

The Railways Minister was holding press conference after six people including a woman and a child were killed in train-car collision near Chak No. 93 JB Gojra on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Railway Police said a car carrying six people was crossing an unmanned level crossing when Lahore-bound Shalimar Express hit it.