Divisional Superintendent (DS) of Pakistan Railways (PR), Hammad Hasan Mirza, stated on Thursday that the 10 billion dollar ML-I project will breathe new life into the nation’s and the train industry’s infrastructure. He said that the 1875 km project was for Pakistan while speaking at the Multan Chambers of Commerce & Industry’s (MCCI) executive body meeting. “We have aging infrastructure and tracks that were constructed by Britons. ML-I will inject new life into it “The distance between Lahore and Karachi will be covered in 10 hours, he added, adding that the trains would travel at a speed of 160 km/h.
The DS stated that the Chinese are striving to reduce the trip from Lahore to Rawalpindi from four hours to two and a half or three years, and added that as an engineer, he saw it as a critically important initiative to improve the nation’s rail system.
Mirza added that the PR Multan division’s oil sector was its largest source of revenue and that Pak Arab Refinery had requested a track for enhancing its oil supply network. He said that if the Greenline Express stopped at Multan Cantt Station instead of Khanewal, it would take passengers 24 hours to go from Islamabad to Karachi instead of the current 23 hours and 15 minutes.
The DS stated that he had discussed the Multan stoppage with the PR General Manager and CEO before the train’s resumement, but owing to a technical issue, the MCCI’s request regarding it was unable to be fulfilled in this context. He did, however, say that he would make another effort to persuade higher-ups, but he could not guarantee success.
The MCCI president, Main Rashid Iqbal, had earlier said in his welcoming speech that the business community was having issues with freight trains, particularly those that convey products from Karachi to Multan, and that excessive delays and stops at Kotri, Rohri, and Samma Satta are upsetting traders.
He ordered PR to upgrade the rail connecting Multan Cantt to the city station.
Similarly, the days-long storage of freight trains from Multan in Karachi yards is another significant issue that slows the delivery of goods to merchants and should be rectified as soon as possible.