Vision 2025: PR to increase its transport share up to 20%

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 2 (APP): In line with the government’s vision 2025 for infrastructure development during the next ten years, Pakistan Railways is to undertake necessary steps to increase its share in the overall transport sector of Pakistan from four percent to 20 percent.
Ministry of Railways is in the process of preparing Railway Strategic Plan (RSP) to operationalize the targets set in the vision which would provide a long term frame work for railway sector development, an Economic Survey for 2015-16 said on Thursday.
The government has allocated 41.0 billion in PSPD for the financial year 2016 for the development interventions in Pakistan Railways.
Pakistan Railways has faced losses during the previous years. Due to over aged infrastructure and rolling stock, escalation of dollar exchange rate and a subsidized railway fare led to an increase in expenditure for sustained train operations.
Ministry of Railways is taking new initiatives to improve performance of Pakistan Railways and achieve tangible results included improve availability of locomotives through special repair of existing locomotives and procurement of new locomotives.
A comprehensive policy for disposal of surplus scrap has been introduced with the aim to improve financial through an open, fair and transparent process.
Economic Corridor development and regional connectivity are important initiatives, which are expected to play vital role in national economic growth.
Up-gradation of Mainline-1, Transport and Communications (ML1) and construction of dry port and cargo handling facility have been included, as Early Harvest Projects (EHP) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and preparatory work on these projects has been initiated on fast track basis.
Up-gradation of ML-II, ML-III and establishing new lines for linking Gwadar, Khunjrab has also been planned.
Up-gradation of ML-III Quetta-Taftan Railway line is an important section of railway network in the context of regional connectivity with Europe through Iran and Turkey and tapping the mineral potential of Balochistan province of Pakistan.
In addition, extension of ML-III (Quetta-Bostan-Zhob-D.I Khan-Kotla Jam section) will provide important connection for transportation of freight and passengers between North and South of the country.
Pakistan Railways has production facilities for assembling of locomotives and carriages at Risalpur and Islamabad, respectively.
To run these facilities on modern lines this Ministry is seeking investment through various options. Various options for joint ventures can be explored in this area.
Business development through customer facilitation is a key pillar of over development strategy. One of the major interventions for customer facilitation is to up-grade Railway stations in terms of better facilities and to optimize station revenue by encouraging private sector participation.
The Ministry is seeking investment for up-gradation of some of the major Railway stations.
Investment possibilities are also being explored through foreign and local investors for financing different projects in railway sector.
A project for computerization of Railway land record has been initiated in order to harmonize the Railway land record with the record of all the provincial revenue departments.
The work was physically commenced on 1-4-2015 and is likely to be completed by the end of this year. This project on completion will safeguard railway land through computerized monitoring system and render total transparency in land management and commercialization.
Pakistan Railways has achieved during the fiscal year 2015-16 included, 90 kms of track was rehabilitated besides doubling of five kms track.
An upgraded signaling system is being installed at 23 Railway Stations. Out of which 06 stations has been up-graded till June, 2015 and 08 stations have been upgraded during the FY 2016 in project “Rehabilitation of assets damaged during riots 27-28th December, 2007”.
Another signaling project “Replacement of Old and Obsolete Signaling Gear Lodhran-Shahdara Section” is in progress for installation of modern Auto Block Signaling System with CBI.
90 KM out 433 KM Auto Block Signaling system and 2 stations out of 31 stations are opened for traffic after installation, testing and commissioning of modern CBI system till June, 2015.
Further 86 KM Auto Block Signaling System and 4 more stations have been opened for traffic under CBI system during the FY 2016.
Almost 58 DE Locos out of 160 DE Locos have been equipped with ATP and Cab Signal till June, 2015. Five more DE Locos have been equipped with ATP and Cab Signal.
The projects to be completed during the FY 2016 including a Rehabilitation of 400 coaches project. a Procurement of 500 High Capacity Bogie Wagons and 40 Power Vans. a Special repair of 150 DE Locomotives to improve availability and reliability.
An effective railway system of the country facilitates commerce and trade, reduces transportation costs, and promotes rural development and natural integration.
The network of Pakistan Railways comprises of 7,791 route kilometers, 455 Locomotives, 1,732 passengers coaches and 15,164 freight wagons.
Pakistan Railways is enduring the worst crisis since its formation mainly due to locomotive shortages. Passenger and freight services substantially declined during the previous years.
With the capping of over draft by the government in 2007, the finances required for increased maintenance cost could not be borne by the Railways.
Finally, the sharp increase in the salary and pension led to diversion of all the revenue earnings to this obligatory payment at the cost of operational and maintenance requirements.
Earning (Rs. Million) 18070.00 22800.22 31924.00 26436.38
Under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure projects have entered into implementation phase this year. and work on the two major highways projects has commenced.
KKH Phase-II (Thakot-Havelian section) Rs. 142 billion and Peshawar-Karachi motorway (Multan-Sukkur section) Rs. 315 billion projects are progressing well.
Commercial and financial agreements have been signed. Besides work on Gwadar Eastbay Expressway and New Gwadar International Airport is likely to start soon. A high level delegation visited both sites to prepare feasibility studies.
Joint Feasibility study on main railways line (Peshawar-Karachi) has been completed. The project will involve dualization of railway track, up gradation of main railway lines with modern signaling system, better safety and central control system to have speed of 160 km per hour.