Two train services scrapped

Rashid appeared disturbed after the Planning Commission suggested to get the third party cost verification


​ Our Correspondent September 16, 2019
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid. PHOTO: AGENCIES/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways has shut down two train services, Rawalpindi Express, and Dhabeji Express, as they were running in losses.

Both train services were started by the present government. President Arif Alvi had inaugurated Dhabeji Express in October last year. The Karachi to Dhabeji service which was later expanded till Mirpurkhas district over the low volume of passengers was aimed at reducing pressure on the dilapidated transport system in the country’s economic hub.

The other train, Rawalpindi Express, operated between Lahore and Rawalpindi.

The railway's minister had recently accused the government of abandoning the $9 billion Mainline-I (ML-I) project under pressure of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the Planning Commission proposed to get yet another cost validation.

The ML-I is the only project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that has been declared strategically important under its May 2017 Framework-Agreement, signed between China and Pakistan.

Sheikh Rashid – a key ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – leveled the allegations during the Cabinet Committee on CPEC meeting.

Rashid appeared disturbed after the Planning Commission suggested to get the third party cost verification of $2.4 billion worth phase-I of the $9 billion projects.

The cabinet body was also given a briefing on the Orange Line train project, whose infrastructure and equipment has started decaying due to the callous attitude of the Punjab government.

The provincial government is also reluctant to ensure water supply, electricity and complete drainage work that has further delayed project completion.

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