ISLAMABAD: In the federal budget for the fiscal year 21-22 (FY21-22) the government has decided to allocate Rs6.2 billion for the up-gradation of the railway line Main Line-1 (ML-1).
Last year the allocation for the expansion and up-gradation of the Rs24 billion. The ML-1 is one of the major railway lines in the country, connecting the cities of Peshawar and Karachi, running through the agro-industrial heartland in Punjab.
According to the finance minister, the work on the ML-1 will be done in three phases with a total expenditure of $9.3 billion. The first phase began in March 2020, whereas the second phase will begin in July 2021, and finally, the last phase of the project will commence in July 2022.
There are 184 railway stations from Kiamari to Peshawar Cantonment on this line. The line serves as the main passenger and freight line of the country. 75% of the country’s cargo and passenger traffic uses the line. The line is currently undergoing a six-year ₨1286.68 billion upgrades and renovation as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, with average rail speeds expected to be doubled to 160 kilometres per hour upon completion.