PR to get Rs14b for flood devastated infrastructure rehabilitation

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Pakistan Railways would soon get around Rs 14 billion from the Federal government for the rehabilitation of its infrastructure massively damaged by the devastating rains and flood in Balochistan. “The funds will only be utilized for rebuilding of the railway infrastructure damaged in Balochistan province,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

In August, he said that Pakistan Railways suspended its train operations at various sections, mostly in Balochistan and Sindh, after the flash floods washed away the tracks in the provinces. He said the train operations remained suspended during the second week of August at Narowal-Sialkot section after the Nullah Dek overflowed and washed away the railway line.

However, the official said the department had resumed the operation after reconstructing the affected track within a couple of days. While at the end of November, three months after the floods in Balochistan, Pakistan Railways succeeded in restoring train operations linking the province with Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. To a question, he replied that Pakistan Railways was also planning to restore all the closed sections in Balochistan province which could not only generate revenue for the department but also facilitate the masses.

“The decision will facilitate the local people of the province and also boost the business activities for the small business owners,” he added. He said that Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had also taken a keen interest in this regard and asked the relevant official of the department to make a plan for the restoration of different sections to generate income in the province.

To a question, he replied that Pakistan Railways had also planned to start rehabilitation work of 33-kilometer track through sleeper renewal between Quetta-Bostan and Quetta-Chaman section. “The track will not only facilitate the passengers, but also connect three major cities of the province,” he said. He said railway network in Balochistan province mainly consisted of Quetta Division having Dera Allah Yar-Sibi-Quetta, Quetta-Chaman, Sibi-Khost, Spezend-Dalbandin-Taftan, Bostan-Zhob which were closed for the last 15 years.

The official said there were two passenger trains Jaffer Express (40Up, 39 Down) and Chaman Passenger (349Up, 350 Down) operating in Balochistan while no stations had been closed during the last 15 years in Quetta division. He said the overall length of the railway track in Balochistan was 1,470.36 kilometers including the closed Bostan-Zhob section.—APP