ISLAMABAD, Jun 12 (APP):The government would address the freight share imbalance between road and rail sectors through provision of adequate funding for the rail sector with focus to improve the reliability and time efficiency for the railways.
According to Annual Development Plan (ADP), the project of Main Line-I upgrdation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework would be implemented.
Further, multi modal and integrated system of transport would be developed to economize the cost of travelling.
A significant shift of freight towards railways to achieve optimal utilization of its inherent capacity would be necessary to reduce relative transportation costs.
The benefits would be maximized if roads become a preferred means of transport for high-value and short-haul freight and rail network for long-haul and heavy cargo.
The National Transport Policy (NTP), 2018 would pave the way for betterment of the transport network and system of the country. An integrated systems approach would be developed during the plan to ensure improved performance of the National Transportation Network.
On the one hand, maximum stress would be laid on optimal utilization of the existing capacity of the system by rehabilitation and better maintenance of assets as well as enforcement of efficient operational techniques and managerial practices; on the other, capacity expansion would follow the optimal intermodal traffic allocation.
Availability of required financing for the infrastructure projects has been a problem area, since huge capital costs were involved. While sufficient PSDP allocations were provided, the available resources cannot meet the demand fully, therefore, government was pursuing new and alternative modes of financing primarily public private partnership and built operate transfer.
An allocation of Rs24 billion has been made in 2020-21 and work would continue on the ongoing projects for improvement of infrastructure/ rolling stock and the ML-I upgradation project would be initiated.
With the improvement of speed and reduction of travel time, more passenger and freight traffic would be generated. Further, the Pakistan Railways has already prepared a Railways Strategic Business Plan, under which the participation of the private sector in the Railway operations was being envisaged.