Islamabad: For the first time, Pakistan Railways has announced free travel for senior citizens aged 65 years and above across the country during the Eid Al Fitr holidays.
Free train passes will also be issued to senior citizens through advance booking and E-ticketing systems during Eid, according to a notification issued by Minister for Railways Roshan Khursheed Bharucha.
The initiative has been taken to ease travel for older citizens, officials said.
“The historic package is a gift to its passengers from Pakistan Railways so that they can reach their destinations free of cost, timely and safely” Bharucha told media.
She added that Pakistan Railways officials will ensure that the facility can be availed by a maximum number of passengers.
Anyone aged 65 and above will be able to avail the offer on all classes of Pakistan Railways, the official said. The commuters, however, will have to carry their CNICs at all times during the travel.
The tickets can be booked in advance through the e-ticketing system by sharing a copy of the computerised national identity cards. Moreover, passes can also be availed through Railways physical booking and reservation offices.
The move has been widely welcomed by senior citizens.
“This is perhaps the first time that Pakistan government has taken a positive step for the welfare of senior citizens. I hope the initiative of Pakistan Railways initiative will inspire other government departments to offer benefits to senior citizens to help enable us live dignified lives”, Abdul Qayyum, 69, a retired professor from Rawalpindi told Gulf News.
Meanwhile Pakistan Railways has also announced a 30 per cent fare discount for other commuters opting to travel in any class of any train on the first and second day of Eid.
Moreover, five special trains will be available for passengers travelling home to celebrate Eid. The first special train will run from Karachi on June 12 to Peshawar. The second train will depart Quetta on June 12 to reach Lahore the next day.
The third train will run from Karachi to Lahore via Faisalabad on June 13. The fourth train will leave from Rawalpindi on June 14 to reach Multan through Bhakkar and the fifth special train will begin its journey on June 19 from Multan Cantonment to reach Rawalpindi through Mianwali.