Pakistan Railways has submitted the final draft of six sub-projects of Phase-I for the expansion and upgradation of Main Line (ML-1) under China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC). “On the basis of preliminary design, the PC-I of Phase-I of six sub-projects’ with the cost of 3400 million USD has been submitted to Ministry of Planning Development and Reform,” sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP.
The source said that there is no delay in the start of MI-I project under CPEC, in fact it is a huge, multidisciplinary project, at an estimated cost of USD 8.2 billion which is likely to increase on finalization of preliminary design for the bidding process.
As a matter of fact due diligence and prudence, in finalization of this huge project, is taking time which is considered essential for processing the project cycle, they added. “Up-gradation of ML-I of Pakistan Railways (Karachi to Peshawar and Taxila to Havelian) and establishment of dry port near Havelian is an `Early Harvest Project` under CPEC framework,” they said. They said it is spread over 1876 kilometers and starting from Karachi passes through Hyderabad, Rhori, Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi to Peshawar and Taxila to Havelian. The sources said the project has been divided into two phases, Phase-I and Phase-II.
To fulfill the requirement of Central Development Working Party (CDWP), preliminary design of the project was started in 2016. “After approval of PC-I, Engineering, Procurement and construction contractor will be appointed through competitive bidding process among Chinese firms, as per intergovernmental framework agreement,” they said.
The sources said that in view of this position, it would not be possible to commit any time line for commencement of the work.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has again delayed approval of the Mainline-I project – the only strategic scheme of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – after Beijing tagged the phase-I of the scheme at $4 billion, which is $627 million higher than Pakistan’s estimates.—APP