Pakistan & China to Finalize ML-1 Railway Plan Next Month

Pakistan and China are all set to finalize the Main Line (ML-1) plan under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) next month, which is being considered as a project of strategic importance.

This was stated by Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad while addressing a press conference here on Monday. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China was more successful than expectations.

A high level Chinese delegation is arriving next month to finalize plans about the Main Line (ML-1) under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is being considered a project of strategic importance.

“CPEC projects are vital for economic as well as the railways development. A lot of progress has been witnessed during the recent visit of PM Khan to China. To finalize the matters, a high level Chinese delegation is approaching on December 19 which would visit the Railways Ministry as well as the Railways’ headquarter,” he added.

He further said that the Railways division has been established in Gwadar, where In-charge officers would be appointed soon. Around 365 acres of land has been procured at Gwadar while an additional 227 acres would be purchased.

He further said that along with ML-1, work on ML-II and ML-III is in progress. The minister also announced an end to the vigilance cell. About 350 employers working in the vigilance cell would be sent back to their respective departments. He further said that contract employees working under the PM package would be regularized.

He further said that the process of filling 2031 posts in Pakistan Railways is ongoing while it also obtained an approval to appoint over 9000 laborers and staff including 155 sub-engineers.

Six new express trains have already been launched including Mianwali Express, Rawalpindi Express, Faisalabad Express, Mohenjo Daro Express, Rohi Express, and Dhabeji Express. Furthermore, four other trains will also be launched soon including one train from Faisalabad to Multan and one other train will be run for Mirpur Khas in the ensuing month. Sindh Express and Rehman Baba Express will also be inaugurated in the offing.

Freight Trains
The main income source of the railways is freight trains. Number of freight trains is going to be increased from 10 to 14 trains a on daily basis. Additionally, two such trains have been handed over to the railways’ freight company. The first train will be inaugurated on December 25, 2018 while the other will be revealed on January 20, 2019.

Sheikh Rashid expressed commitment that he would bring improvement in Pakistan railways through introducing prudent policies and hard work.