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Pakistan Railways submitted the PC-1 of Main Line (ML-1) Railways project, worth around $9.23 billion, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework to the Planning Ministry for approval. This was announced by Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in a video message on Thursday.
Rashid said that a meeting was held on Thursday with Prime Minister Imran Khan and he apprised the Prime Minister of the achievement regarding the submission of PC-1 to the Planning Ministry. He said that the Prime Minster has directed to complete the track as soon as possible.
The minister said that it is a huge achievement in Pakistan's history that PC-1 of 1,800 kilometers long track at a cost of $9.2 billion has been submitted for approval.
Rashid has already invited the Prime Minister and transport minister of China to witness the historic project initiation of ML-1 under which 1,800 kilometers track would be upgraded. After getting approval from the ECNEC, tender of the project would be issued and work on the project is expected to be initiated in March 2020.
The project for up-gradation of ML-1 has been declared a strategic commercial project with loan on favorable terms as it presents a perfect business plan covering 75 percent traffic/population and 65 percent industrial areas.
With the up-gradation of ML-1, train speed will increase from the current 65-105 km to 120-160 km, line capacity from 34 to 171 trains each way per day, freight volumes from 6 million tons to 35 million tons per annum by 2025, and railway share of freight transport volume would increase from less than 4 percent to 20 percent. The project would create around 0.1 million jobs for the young people.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019