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Transportation of coal to Sahiwal Power Project: Railways will earn Rs 13.5 billion

Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways (PR) Khawaja Saad Rafiq has said that the transportation of coal to Sahiwal Power Project by the railways will help earning Rs 13.5 billion per annum. Briefing National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways, he said that PR has recently signed an agreement with General Electric Company-an American company assembling diesel engines-for 55 D.E locomotives of (4000-4500 HP) that would start supply of first consignment in 2016 and all the locos will reach before the completion of Sahiwal power project.

The committee meeting held here on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Syed Naveed Qamar, MNA to consider the status/progress on PSDP 2015-16, status of NAB Case and matters. Chinese company CRRC has qualified for supplying 780 harpar wagons, PR has purchased 358 acres of land costing Rs 1.8 billion for establishment of dry ports in Gawadar and Lahore under China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the minister said.

He said that the purchase of 780 harpar wagons will cost Rs 8.87 billion, adding that doubling of railway track from Khanewal to Raiwind has been completed; only installation of signals is left, which will be completed by end December 2015. The committee was informed that coal transportation cost from Karachi to Sahiwal will stand at Rs 2.99 per 40 kg, for which PR has established a freight company. The panel was briefed in detail regarding procurement of 150, 58 and75 locomotives along with their financial/physical progress/targets and progress achieved so far.

It was briefed regarding rehabilitation of 27 locomotives as well as special repair of 150 locomotives and rehabilitation of 300 Traction Motors. In addition, the panel was briefed about procurement of 500 wagons and 40 public vans as well as Hopper wagons.

The committee was informed that the Railways has got special repair of 800 coaches and 2000 wagons and rehabilitation of Karachi to Khanpur and Khanpur to Lodhran tracker including rehabilitation of 159 bridges and mechanisation of Track maintenance as well as assets damaged during flood in 2010. He further revealed about revival of Karachi Circular Railway for which 250 acres of land have been allocated for the purpose, but JICA as yet has not approved the loan for the construction of the project. He also said that acquisition of land for railway container yard, station and railway line from sea port to coastal highway in Gwadar is also under process and will soon be completed.

The Committee decided to have a briefing on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) support project at Ministry of Railways. Moreover, the Committee decided to have briefing about presentation on the NAB cases in next meeting. The Committee also decided to convene next meeting of standing committee on Railways on November 12, 2015 for which the Minister for Railways was agreed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015