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Feasibility study being carried out to revive Peshawar-Torkham rail track: Senate told

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed Tuesday informed the Senate that a feasibility study was being carried out to revive Peshawar-Torkham rail track.

“The feasibility study will be completed in a period of three months,” Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed told the house during question hour.

The Senate was also informed that ML-1 will be upgraded from Peshawar to Karachi under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project.

The minister for railways told the house that this project will see replacement of existing track with new one and the installation of new signaling system.

“We have increased freight trains from eight to 12. Pakistan Railways is playing a vital role in the transportation of goods across the country. Recently, it has transported imported fertilizer to different parts of the country for the Ministry of Industry and Production,” he said.

He said the freight operation generated revenue of Rs 12,272.638 million in the financial year 2016-2017.

Read More: Railways minister inaugurates oil transportation facility to PAF

Ahmed said other private companies were also approaching Pakistan Railways for the transportation of fertilizer from ports to the upcountry. He said that there was also a plan to lay track in Thar on build, operate and transfer basis.

He informed the Senate that 51.40 acres precious Railways land had been retrieved in Peshawar Division during the last three months.

The minister said special campaign for removal of encroachment had been launched and negotiation was also underway with government departments for retrieval of railways land.

He said about 200.21 acres of Railway land was still under illegal occupation/ possession of provincial governments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

He said that division was actively carrying out campaign against the land mafia to retrieve valuable state land with the help of concerned district administration and as well as district/railway police.

The minister said stay order from the courts of law was one major hurdle in retrieval of Railway land. Presently about 185 land cases were under trial in different courts, which were also vigorously followed in the light of orders passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he added.

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