Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Tuesday said that Main Line-1 (ML-1) project will engender employment in Pakistan.
“It will also speed up the development in the country,” he said during a meeting with Li Xuedoung, DG National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China at the Ministry of Railways.
A delegation from Beijing based NRA was also present on the occasion. The agenda of the meeting was to focus on implementation of up gradation of ML-1 and methodology of financing.
During the meeting Li Xuedoung said, “Work on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects had seen positive progress over the past three years.”
He said, “The ML-1 up-gradation plan joining Peshawar to Karachi formed a significant part of CPEC’s improvement and it would benefit people especially along the route and contribute to economic and social development of Pakistan.”
“The ML-1 is Key priority on the working agenda and NDRC takes a complete view of the venture which is a huge up-gradation project. NDRC would make its due contribution to CPEC’s development,” he added.
NDRC and NRA is helping Pakistan Railways in rehabilitation/improvement of existing track that will follow the existing alignment except at locations where sharp curves are to be eased out or eliminated to allow higher speed up to 140 Km/h. The delegation will inspect sections of Lahore-Multan and Lahore- Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, a meeting was held between Pakistan Railways, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and ECO Trade and Development Bank (ETDB).
The meeting discussed possibility of financing infrastructure projects along the Pakistani section of Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) route. One of the proposed projects is the restoration/up gradation of Quetta-Taftan Railway Track (612 km).
Railways Minister Saad Rafique mentioned that, “This initiative can open a new era for Pakistan Railways as Quetta Taftan is an important section.”
Javed Aslam, President of ECO TDB, Ahsan Mangi, Deputy Secretary General Eco, Abid, Secretary Programming IDB and senior officials from Pakistan Railways were also present in the meeting.
Quetta–Taftan Railway Line, also referred as Main Line-4 (ML-4) begins from Quetta and ends at Koh-e-Taftan. There are 23 railway stations from Quetta to Koh-e-Taftan. The line then crosses into Iran and extends to Zahedan.