Saturday, July 16, 2011
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Pakistan Railways to facilitate Zaireens (devotees) of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar by assembling additional bogies with daily routine trains.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the LHC issued the direction when the railways chief operating superintendent through a written reply informed the court that the department was facing an acute shortage of locomotives and was not in a position to run special trains on the occasion of annual Urs of the Sufi saint Shahbaz Qalandar.
On the court orders, a report regarding special trains run by the railways during the period of last six months was also submitted. The report revealed that eight special trains had been run during the period, six for Sikh pilgrims, one each for Raiwind religious congregation and Urs of Hazrat Bahauddin Zikriya at Multan.
It said the Sikh trains had to be arranged because of international commitment while only two special trains were arranged for domestic passengers. It was stated in the report that due to shortage of locomotives, the department could not run special trains to facilitate the petitioner or devotees intending to attend the Urs of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. After going through the report, the judge directed the railways authorities to facilitate the devotees disposing of a petition filed by Jhoolay Lal Council.
Council’s president Sheikh Tariq Abbas submitted that every year railways ran 14 special trains to facilitate the devotees of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar who came from across the country to participate in Urs celebrations. He said the Council had bought trains tickets worth Rs 3,600,000 for the devotees every year, giving huge revenue to the railway department.
This year, the petitioner said the railways had closed different trains owing to financial constraints and also stopped service of special trains to accommodate the devotees of Lal Shahbaz.
[Picture: Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalander. Photo: Wiki.]