ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways is likely to complete reconstruction and rehabilitation work on the strategic Sibi-Harnai railway track by end of January 2023 with the help of National Logistics Cell (NLC).

“The railway track was made dysfunctional after a series of bomb blasts damaged as many as 22 steel bridges in the highly rugged and inaccessible area,” sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP on Sunday.

They said the track was badly damaged in 2006 and so far about 95 percent of the reconstruction work of the project was completed and remaining would be completed soon.

The sources said that Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had also taken keen interest regarding the projects and directed concerned official to complete the project at the earliest.

They said 10 railways stations were rendered dysfunctional for over lack of proper maintenance over a long period of time.

In March 2016, they said that a contract of rehabilitation and restoration of Sibbi-Harnai railway track along with up-gradation of railway stations was awarded to the NLC as no other construction firm agreed to undertake the project due to prevalent security situation and enormity of the task.

During initial survey of the track, they said that it was found that 22 steel bridges of different sizes were completely destroyed and required replacement.

They said in addition, a massive river protection work was to be undertaken to save the infrastructure. The quantum of work, non-availability of road access and requisite resources made the project ‘a formidable challenge.’

The sources said undertaking the project with the sincerity of purpose and utmost sense of duty, NLC officers, engineers and construction workers faced harsh weather conditions and a hostile security environment, and subsequently completed 95% of the rehabilitation works in record time.

The major task was the fabrication of steel bridges. The steel bridges were fabricated in Karachi and were transported all the way to the project site after painstakingly assembled by NLC engineers in a befitting manner, they added.

They said a total of nine railway stations along with tracks have been upgraded by NLC engineers including reconstruction of Harnai Railway Station and a complete renovation of Sibi Railways Station, which can be regarded as the finest railway station in Balochistan.

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