The Chinese government has started review of Pakistan’s rail infrastructure project, Main Line-1 (ML-1). In this regard, a proposal has been sent to Eximbank of China for approval of $ 6 billion loan since other technical, administrative and other problems now stands resolved.
As per the reports, the Development of the ML-1 project will be in three phases as approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at a meeting last August. The total cost of the project was previously estimated at $ 9 billion however, this was later reduced to $ 6.8 billion.
After approval of the loan required for the project, it will be referred to the relevant ministries in China that deal with railways, planning and development issues. This process is expected to take couple of more months, after which the ministry will be able to start the international bidding process.
The project will include modernization of ML-1 from Karachi to Peshawar and from Taxila to Havelian (a total of 1,872 km), construction of a new road with an improved ground layer supporting speed of of 160 km / hr, reconstruction and construction of bridges, and provision of modern facilities including Signaling and communication systems. Converting railway crossings into tunnels, bridges, and railway fences, establishing a dry port near Havelian, and improving the Walton Training Academy in Lahore.
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