The government has planned major installation and upgradation of railway tracks under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it was revealed on Sunday.
Under the plan, new railway tracks will be laid from Gwadar to Quetta and Jacobabad via Besima.
Railway track of 560 km will be laid from Bostan to Kotla Jam on Main Line-II via Zhob and Dera Islamil Khan, while 682 km of track will be laid from Havelian to Khunjrab, according to details.
Upgradation of 1,872km of railway track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore, and Rawalpindi (including Taxila-Havelian) – along with ‘dualisation’ of track from Shahdara to Peshawar – will also be carried out.
Some 1,254 km of railway track from Kotri to Attock City via Dadu, Larkana, Jacobabad, DG Khan, Bhakkar, Kundian will also be upgraded.
The CPEC is a 3,000-km network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking three billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe.
An official agreement on the corridor was signed between the two countries in May this year during President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Pakistan.
A flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative as well, the CPEC intends to revive the ancient Silk Road with a focus on infrastructure, and constitutes the strategic framework of bilateral cooperation.
The project links China’s strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan’s focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programmes.