ECNEC green lights $6.8 Bn ML-1 upgradation project

Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), under the chairmanship of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, has approved the project of upgradation of existing Mainline-1 (ML-1) and establishment of dry port near Havelian. This project would provide employment to more than 150,000 people.

Under the $6.80 billion project, existing one line would also be turned into a double-track route to provide safe journey to the railways passengers. After up gradation the passenger trains will be able to travel at 160Km/h and freight trains at 120Km/h.

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed in a video message after approval of the project said that railway tracks in Pakistan would be upgraded for the first time after 1861. He said that this project would significantly decrease inter-city travelling time “Lahore to Karachi 7 hours, Pindi to Lahore 2.5 hours and Lahore to Multan 2 hours.”

While addressing a press conference he said that currently there are about 1,000 crossings on Lahore-Karachi route but with the ML-1 project signal system would be automated and travel time would be reduced. “The ML-I is just a beginning, Pakistan Railways will also upgrade ML-II, ML-III and ML-IV to improve the infrastructure in the country,” the minister added.