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January 15, 2020

PR plans 6km coal train track at Port Qasim


January 15, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan Railways (PR) has chalked out the details of a plan for constructing a rail track to facilitate coal transportation at Port Qasim, which it was all set to present to the Planning Commission soon, an official said.

“Railways has prepared PC-1 (form) to lay down 6-kilometer track from Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) to carry out the exercise of transportation of coal to the designated destination,” Nisar Memon, Divisional Superintendent Pakistan Railways Karachi, told Supreme Court.

Memon, who was speaking at a hearing of a civil application regarding coal handling at Port Qasim Authority (PQA) recently, apprised Supreme Court the project had been envisaged in view of a pressing need of improving the transportation of coal at the port.

The track would be completed in 12-18 months after the approval from the Planning Commission, Memon said.

“Under the facts and also observing the gravity of the circumstances, we expect the PC will accord due consideration and priority to this project of national importance and will approve the same in accordance with due process without any delay to ensure the railway track is laid as expeditiously as possible and not beyond a period of 18 months from the date of its approval,” noted Supreme Court.

An official of PIBT said, “This railway track is very important considering the increase in the import of coal in the coming years”.

The official added that a railway track connecting PIBT to Juma Goth junction is very important to facilitate the transportation of coal.

“This dedicated track will help minimise the environmental issues and reduce transportation cost of coal,” said the official.

He said railway lines were part of the master planning of Port Qasim, while transportation of coal through Pakistan Railways would help it earn huge profits and become a profitable entity.

“For example, the last government connected railways to the Sahiwal jetty and 4 million tons of imported coal has been transported from Port Qasim to Sahiwal through railway,” he said, adding that Pakistan Railways was earning more than Rs12 billion through this project.

“This shows how much Railways can earn from the transportation of coal to different destinations across the country,” he added.

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