Minister directs to speed up CPEC ML-1 project

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Expressing concerns over delay in the mega project of Railway Main Line (ML-1) under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal Friday directed the railway authorities to speed up the pace of the project.
Chairing a preparatory meeting on the joint working group on Transport Infrastructure which was attended by officials from CPEC Authority, NHA, Gawadar Port Authority, and senior officers from the Ministry of Planning and Railways, the Minister observed that due to negligence of the previous regime, the depth of Gawadar port has decreased to 11 meters which should be 18 meters deep for navigation of big ships it had led to hindering the anchoring of big ships on the port.
In this connection, he directed take urgent measures to initiate the dredging process at Gawadar Port so that Gawadar port will be made viable transportation for big ships.
Minister for Planning also expressed his concerns about the ML-1 project and took notice that the project should have been started in 2018 but the delay has caused a huge financial loss to the national exchequer.
Minister also directed to evaluate of the cost of the 250 km/hour track for the future viability of the project. He asked Railway authorities to speed up the processing of the ML-1 project.
Minister emphasized that laying down the Fiber optic cable project should be integrated within ML-1 to economize the project.
Minister said that the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is another important mass transit project which should be executed on the same model as Orange Line in Lahore.
Minister remarked that the Mansehra- Muzafarabad and Babusar Tunnel and Zhob – D.I Khan Projects should be taken up on priority for inclusion in the upcoming JCC. He directed NHA to do a feasibility study of the Kabul-Peshawar Motorway.