CPEC offers huge scope for Pakistan Railways: PM

ML-1 from Karachi to Havelian being upgraded

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Appreciating the performance of Pakistan Railways, Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasirul Mulk observed on Tuesday that the organisation was following right direction for its revival and sustainability to achieve future targets.
After being briefed about the department’s performance at Prime Minister’s Office, he specifically appreciated various initiatives taken under the strategic business plan.
The prime minister observed that with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project on the verge of materialising, there is a huge potential and scope for Pakistan Railways to further improve its performance and increase its share both in passenger as well as freight transportation sector by offering quality services to its customers.
He also directed that a comprehensive plan be worked out to overcome the existing challenges for the consideration of the incoming elected government.
The briefing was attended by Minister for Railways Roshan Khursheed Bharucha, Secretary Railways and senior officers of the ministry.
The caretaker PM was briefed about organisational structure, rail network in the country, past performance and the future development strategy under National Vision 2025 in the Railways sector.
He was informed that as a result of right mix in service, the passenger share in railways has increased from 13% in 2013 to 31% in 2017. Pakistan Railways recorded revenue of Rs50 billion in 2017-18 compared to revenue of Rs15.5 billion in 2011-12.
The PM was also briefed about the progress made in various rail network extension projects under the CPEC. Main Line-1 (ML-1) project from Karachi to Havelian was being upgraded as Early Harvest Project under the CPEC. Feasibility study for upgradation of ML-2 (Kotri-Attock) project has been completed. Similarly, feasibility studies were in progress on extension of ML–2 (Gwadar – Basima – Jacobabad and Basima-Quetta) and extension of ML–3 (Quetta – Bostan – Zhob – DI Khan – Kotlajam) projects.
Prime Minister Mulk was also apprised about the challenges faced by the organisation including the issue of pension liabilities that came to 34% of the total expenditure of the organisation.

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