Meetings held with Chinese authorities to initiate work on up-gradation of ML-1: Pakistani Railways Minister

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Jan 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Jan 19(Gwadar Pro)- Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati said on Tuesday afternoon that several meetings were held with Chinese authorities to initiate work on the up-gradation of Main Line 1, from Karachi to Peshawar.

The minister told the Senate during the Question Hour that as per the requirement, the Pakistan Railways (PR) had also handed over tendering documents to China.

“Several meetings have been held with the Chinese side for initiation of work on the up-gradation of ML-1 from Karachi to Peshawar,” he added.

Swati mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting Beijing next month, and he had requested him to take up this project with the Chinese President Xi Jinping on a priority basis.

He observed the project as a win-win project for both Pakistan and China, which would help avert train accidents and cut losses of Pakistan Railways.

He told the Senate that Pakistan Railways had procured 230 new bogies to provide better services to the passengers, which would be received in three to four months.

The capacity of the repair workshop was also being enhanced in order to repair 30-40 bogies per month.

The minister also pointed out that PR had bogies which were 30-50 years old. “Railways have locomotives but due to shortage of bogies could not run more trains between Lahore and Rawalpindi,” he underscored.

He underlined that the government had introduced a computerized system to improve the performance and efficiency of the department.

He emphasized that the government always created job opportunities in the country. “PR is looking after the families of Shudha (martyrs),” he informed.

To a question, he said an area of 4451-acre Railway land has been leased out during the last three years in various parts of the country.

Pakistan Railways has planned to commercially exploit its available lands through Private-Public Partnership (PPP) mode and in this regard expression of interest for hiring of consultant for commercial exploitation of 25 mega sites all over the network was invited in the year 2021, the minister updated.

In addition, 111 new commercial sites were also identified all over the network to offer the sites for commercial projects under PPP mode in the second phase, he apprised the House.

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