Engineering Post Report
Somewhat prestigious and much trumpeted “Up-gradation of Pakistan Railways existing Main Line -1 (ML-1) and establishment of Dry Port near Havelian (2018-22) Phase-1 “development project under the umbrella of great game changer China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is somehow moving at nails pace.
The project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on August 5.2020 at an estimated cost of Rs 1119307.475 million including foreign aid of Rs 951411.354 million.
It is yet to take practical shape on the ground as apparently no allocation for its launching as such was made in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of the Federal Government for Railways Division for financial year 2021-22.
Under PSDP 2022-23 a not so hefty allocation of Rs 5000 million including foreign aid of Rs 100 million against the heavy estimated cost has been made for the project initial launching.
The project as such is to be completed in three phases. It envisages doubling of entire track from Karachi to Peshawar, increasing passenger trains as well as of freight trains speed substantially besides improving signalling and control system on entire network.
An allied “Preliminary Design/Drawings for Upgradation/rehabilitation of main line (ML-1) and establishment of Dry Port near Havelian under the CPEC and hiring of design/drawings vetting consultants” was approved by ECNEC on April 12,2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 10641.634 million involving no foreign aid.
An estimated expenditure of Rs 9963.309 million was reported to have been incurred up to June 2022. Against throw forward of Rs 678.426 million , an allocation of Rs 500 million has been made for it under PSDP for financial year 2022-23 meaning thereby that it will only be completed in all respects , provided it does not suffer from cost and time escalation, during financial year 2023-23 if at all all goes well.