By Jawad Ahmed
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 25 (INP-WealthPK): Pakistan Railways (PR) has launched a scrapyard management system to digitalise record keeping and integrate all the scrapyards across the country.
“Earlier manual handling of the large database was employed to maintain records of scrapyards, which was a difficult task. The new system will remove the inconvenience of maintaining and handling record-keeping books,” Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati said while addressing the launching ceremony of the project at the carriage factory in Islamabad.
“An IT-based system is the only way to streamline such processes and bring transparency to the government departments,” Swati said. He also shared details about other technological initiatives that are currently being deployed by railways, including RABTA, complaint management system, facial recognition, e-ticketing and e-procurement.
“A comprehensive restructuring plan of PR has been approved by the federal cabinet to put it back on track by ensuring automation of its different functions,” the federal minister said.
He said that under the Prime Minister’s Digital Pakistan Vision, the ministry was also taking initiatives to fully digitalise the railways infrastructure.
Swati said the scrapyard management system, launched in collaboration with Google, was a step towards bringing innovation and transparency to every department of railways through implementation of modern technology.
“Value of advanced technology cannot be overstated in any sphere of life, and PR is no exception. It is unavoidable for PR to gain from technology innovation in order to compete with the world’s fast-growing economies.”
However, inadequate government policies, insufficient investment in all areas, including technology upgrading, and poor asset maintenance have left PR in a bind.
The federal minister said it was time to upgrade the PR by getting benefits from the integration of information technology.
“Over the past 10 years, China has made enormous investments under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to rebuild and restructure PR. We have to play a role to streamline functions of PR by introducing technology,” the minister underscored.
Swati said the scrapyard management system would help digitalise and integrate all scrapyards across the country. This will help in effective monitoring, freighting, surveillance and quick disposal of scrap accumulated from various sources of the entire railways.
On this occasion, Umar Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of Tech Valley Pakistan, said, “Digitalising scrapyard management by deploying Google Workspace is one of the many upcoming steps in digitalising the Pakistan Railways and other government departments under the Prime Minister’s Digital Pakistan Vision.”
Meanwhile, talking to WealthPK, federal minister Swati said, ‘Had we brought modern technology a decade ago, Pakistan railways could have become a profitable company by now’.