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Govt allocates Rs40b for Railway development schemes

National

April 29, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has allocated development funds worth Rs40 billion to the Railway Division in the annual budget for the year 2018-19 compared to Rs36 billion earmarked for uplift schemes in the year 2017-18. Compared to allocations made in previous budget to Railway Division the government in the current fiscal year 2018-19 has enhanced funds for development works to the tune of Rs4 billion.

The development funds would be released to the Railway Sector under the Public Sector Development Programme.

Out of the total funds allocated for development works in the current fiscal year, Rs27763.983 million would be spent on old schemes which are underway while Rs12246.017 million would be earmarked on new projects to be initiated by Railway Sector.

In all work on 29 old schemes is underway which remains to be completed in the current year. Similarly, Railway has 10 new projects to launch with the release of announced funds during the year 2018-19.

Under the new schemes which are in pipeline, Railway would spend Rs400 million for acquiring land for Gwadar connectivity, Rs4546 million for acquisition of land for Railway Corridor from sea port from 5.25 km to 9 km and Railway Operational Land from 12 to 14 km at Gwadar. For carrying feasibility study(PC-II) for construction of new rail link from Havelian to Pak-China border measuring 682 km under CPEC an amount of Rs1 million have been earmarked. Installation of escalators and elevators at major railway stations is also on the cards of this sector on which Rs225 million would be spent. Railway has also decided to procure Track Machines in accordance with modern practices. For this purpose Rs1300 million would be allocated. For upgradation of relief trains including rolling stock and equipments Rs472.500 million would be spent.

While all these schemes would be initiated and completed by the end of June, 2019 but it depends upon the condition of availability of funds, said officials in the Railway Ministry on condition of anonymity. According to them government announces funds for old and new works but due to non release of allocated grant by PSDP, projects remain incomplete, they said.

Similarly among the ongoing schemes the major schemes which are underway include procurement of 75 diesel electric locomotives for which Rs7000 million are required and for doubling of track from Khanewal to Raiwind measuring 246 kilometers an amount of Rs1203.016 million needed. For carrying preliminary design study of upgradation/rehabilitation of mainline (ML-I) and construction of New Dry Port cargo handling facility at Havelian, the Railway would spend Rs3569.934 million. Railway is working on a pilot project which includes mechanization of track maintenance. Amount of Rs877.448 million would be allocated for this purpose.

Work on special repair of 100 diesel electric locomotives is also pending and it would be completed at the tune of Rs866 million.

The Railway division sought huge amount of Rs27753.983 million for completing old schemes which are underway and Rs12248.017 million for starting new projects. Ironically the Railway authorities have not proposed funds for repair, rehabilitation of railway bridges as condition of several bridges are reportedly bad and deteriorated.

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