ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday told that the multibillion-dollar Main Line (ML-I) project has been finalised between Pakistan and China.
During the meeting with Chinese Minister for Transport Li Xiaopeng, he said that the project will be a huge milestone and will provide immense opportunities while adding to the progress of Pakistan.
The minister praised the friendship between the two countries and lauded China’s trust in Pakistan.
“I held a meeting with my Chinese counterpart and finalised the $8.2 billion project,” he told media at Diaoyutai State Guest House.
The ML-I project will see the rehabilitation and up-gradation of the Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line. A 1,872km long track from Peshawar to Karachi will be laid out in addition to the existing one – turning it into a double-track route. The project will increase the speed of the passenger trains from the current 65km-110km per hour to 160km per hour and increase the freight volume and railway’s share in freight transport from less than 4% to 20%.
The minister also applauded the keen interest shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan in the project. He has also shared copies of a feasibility report of ML-2 (Fast Train) project with his Chinese counterpart, he said. “We are planning to start work on the fast train project soon after the completion of ML-I in the next 3-4 years,” he told.
Sheikh Rasheed was part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s delegation during the visit to China.