Railway workers decry poor state of residential quarters

According to individuals who live there, the different colonies and settlements of lower-level employees of Pakistan Railways (PR) continue to be in a dilapidated state as a result of years of neglect, with the recent rains making the situation worse.

A representative of a union for railway workers, Mubarak Hussain, claimed that the issues and challenges in the railway quarters were getting worse every day, with the walls and ceilings of the damaged homes collapsing and endangering the lives of individuals who lived there.

From these government quarters, two roof collapses have been documented thus far. There were no fatalities as a result.

An employee’s union official, Chaudhry Aamir, verified that a house’s roof had collapsed in the Railway Bakery Chowk.

This is the second time that the roof of the railway quarters at Bakery Chowk has collapsed, he said. However, the railway administration did not survey the old homes or carry out any repairs.

He issued a warning that the living conditions were still difficult and that the inhabitants’ families were in danger.

The issue is especially severe in the 1912 railway quarters, which were converted from stables from the British era. These 12 foot by 10 foot stables have a 10-foot yard in front, a little kitchen and a bathroom. It used to be where a horse and its groom would stay. There were more than a thousand stables.

After Pakistan’s creation, an additional 335 homes were given to officers and staff.

The stables, which were adjacent to the railway tracks and were given to the railroads, were later transformed into housing for BPS-4 employees.

The Rawalpindi Railway currently has 11 residential communities here. These include the Carriage Colony, the CDL Workshop Colony, the Traffic Colony, the Commercial Colony, the Locomotive Shed Colony, the Construction Colony, and the Talab Colony.

These apartments still have leaky roofs and are in a bad condition. The walls have undergone various degrees of deterioration. The sanitation and sewage systems are no longer operational.

There was overgrown vegetation, giving the place an untidy appearance. Additionally, residents claimed they lacked gas, power, and water.

The residents claim that no repairs have been made to the quarters in the past 20 years. After two to three months, the quick fixes were swept away by the rain.

The divisional superintendent of the Railway Rawalpindi Division, according to sources, had directed the survey of the railroad’s habitations. Then, they said, monies will be released, and work on repairs and painting would begin.

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