Chinese firm sees monorail service feasible

By Uzma Zafar

RAWALPINDI: Expressing interest in the construction of the monorail service from Rawat to Islamabad International Airport (IIA), a Chinese firm has termed the project to be viable, low-cost and environment-friendly.
The Chinese Civil Engineering Corporation (CCEC) in its study report of the project has said that the construction of the track for the rail service was viable and could be built cheaply. The report added that the project would cause no harm to the environment of the twin cities as the monorail would be run on electricity. The track would be 100 kilometres (km) long and connect Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The train would run on electricity instead of bio-fuel, making it environment-friendly, it said. From Rawat to Soan Adda, the track would be laid on road, however, from Soan Adda to Kutcheri Chowk and on Mall Road, an elevated track would be constructed for the monorail service. The train would run on the Metro Bus track from Rawalpindi Saddar to Islamabad Secretariat. The project is being reviewed and could be carried through a joint venture with the Metro Bus Authority (MBA), said an official privy to the development. A final decision in this regard was yet to be made, he added.
Further, the Rawalpindi Commissioner Muhammad Mahmood has directed to complete the feasibility report of the mass transit service at the earliest. The government is considering replacing the metro buses running between the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi with an electric train. The project would be completed under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In a major breakthrough, the 100-kilometre (km) long circular railway project has been added to the CPEC, it will run along the Leh Expressway while metro bus track will also be included in the project to give hassle-free traveling experience in the twin cities.