ISLAMABAD, Apr 29 (APP): Federal Minister for Railways, Azam Khan Swati Thursday said that the future of Pakistan Railways is connected to the ML-1 project which would provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to 150,000 people.
The minister was speaking during a meeting with a Chinese delegation who called on him.
During the meeting, discussions were held regarding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
They discussed matters related to the ML-1 project and possible ways to modernize railways sector.
The delegation assured that ML-1 was the most important project of Pakistan for them.
Speaking on the occasion, the federal minister said the future of Pakistan Railways is connected to this project.
This project will increase the speed of the train to 160 km per hour.
The journey time from Lahore to Karachi will be only eight hours, Rawalpindi-Lahore will be only 2.5 hours, Multan-Lahore two hours and Karachi-Rawalpindi will be left for ten hours.
He said there will be fencing on both sides of the track and the gates will be removed.
Along with ML-1, work on ML-2 and Quetta- Gwadar will also be carried out.
The minister said that the railways sector will connect the whole Pakistan and will give new life to Gwadar port.
Swati said it is for the first time in the history of Pakistan Railways that a proper business plan was presented after working hard.
This sector had been working without any business plan in the last 73 years.
Congratulating the nation regarding ML-1 project, he said this project would be completed in our tenure.
Pakistan project on 2 rail link with Afghanistan was also in progress. It is 11 km from Chaman to Spin Boldak within the borders of Pakistan while Kandahar is 130 km from Spin Boldak.
Feasibility is completed from Chaman to Spain Boldak and its PC-I has also been approved in 2015 (Approved) at a cost of about 1.2 billion, he said.
Pakistan shared the feasibility report with the Afghan government but they did not start work. If the Afghanistan side starts working on it, we will complete our track in a year, he said.
The minister stated that Pakistan has completed the track from Peshawar to Jalalabad.
Pakistan has started the feasibility of rail link from Peshawar to Jalalabad through Shaman Valley and about 30% work has been done on it.