ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a briefing on the US$ 6.8 billion Mainline-1 (ML-1), a CPEC project aimed at upgrading and dualizing the 1,872-kilometer railway track from Karachi to Peshawar.
In a meeting held in Islamabad on Monday, the prime minister was briefed about the progress made so far on the ML-1 project, the timelines set for its implementation, and its benefits.
The meeting was attended amongst others by the Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, the Minister for Planning Asad Umer, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, and the Chairman CPEC Authority Lt General (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa.
In his remarks at the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the ML-1 is the key project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and it will not only modernize and strengthen Pakistan Railways but also create thousands of jobs for skilled people and boost industrialization in the Country.
The prime minister said that the ML-1 project will provide better travel and freight facilities to the people of the Country and will open up a new chapter of socio-economic development.
Imran Khan said that ML-1 will significantly reduce the cost of doing business which will facilitate the business community. He said that the welfare of the people and development of the Country is his government’s top priority while setting up priorities for development projects.
Earlier on August 5, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the ML-1 project.
The execution of the ML-1 project will be in three packages and in order to avoid commitment charges, the loan amount for each package will be separately contracted.
Under the project existing, 2,655 kilometers track will be upgraded.
The speed of passenger trains will increase from 65/110 kilometers per hour to 165 kilometers per hour and the line capacity will increase from 34 to 137/171 trains each way per day.