Pakistan Railways’ ML-1 Upgrade Gets ECNEC Approval

Pakistan Railways’ ML-1 Upgrade Gets ECNEC Approval - ahgroup-pk

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the upgrade of Pakistan Railways’ existing main Line-1 (ML-1) at a re-modified scope.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ECNEC’s decision has been communicated: “The upgradation of Pakistan Railways’ existing Mainline-I was approved with a re-modified scope, with directions that phase-I of the project, i.e., 929 km from Karachi to Multan, will be taken up as priority.”

ECNEC approved nine projects with a collective cost of Rs. 2.3 trillion. The meeting was convened to sanction the ML-I project before Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s departure for China.

ECNEC’s approval of the ML-I project for the second time underscores the careful planning and consideration that has gone into this significant infrastructure project.

It was decided that only phase I would be considered for financing through CPEC. Once the funding is confirmed, the second phase from Multan to Peshawar will be considered later.

The prime minister instructed that the ML-I project should be split into two phases:

  • Phase I, 929km long from Karachi to Multan, costs $3.32 billion. Pakistan is trying to secure a $2.8 billion loan from China and will arrange the remaining $497.3 million from the budget.
  • Phase II, 797km long from Multan to Peshawar, will cost $3.36 billion. If a decision is made, it will be completed after the confirmation of financing—either from CPEC or other sources.

Also, the Flood Response Emergency Housing Project (Phase-I) is considered and approved and will be funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Moreover, The ECNEC approved four water sector projects, including the Government of Punjab’s “Construction of Dadhocha Dam (revised)” project.

ECNEC has approved the Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project (KNIP) and extended its implementation period by six months, now running until December 31, 2024. The project aims to improve the accessibility, usability, and attractiveness of public spaces, including roads, streets, parks, open spaces, and public buildings in selected neighborhoods of Karachi.

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