PR and ADB discuss new projects
LAHORE: Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials met with senior Pakistan Railways officials to discuss the funding and feasibility studies for rail projects worth an estimated $1 billion at Railways Headquarters on Monday.
Teril Deksen, the ADB senior transport economist, and Prodal Dut, transport specialist, met with Railways General Manager for Operations Aurangzab Khan and other officials. PR sources told Daily Times that this was the first time in 20 years that the ADB had expressed an interest in funding Pakistan Railways development projects.
A senior PR official who attended the meeting told Daily Times that the ADB team was briefed about the major projects, and their targets and achievements of the last four years. The Railways officials made presentations on several projects including one for the purchase of 75 diesel and 25 electric locomotives, 150 passenger coaches and 1,000 high capacity freight wagons. Another project discussed was the dualisation of rail track between Khanewal and Lahore, Lahore and Faisalabad and Lahore and Lala Moosa. The repair of other track was also discussed.
Railways also plans the renovation of the electrification system between Lahore and Khanewal and the extension of electric track from Khanewal to Samasatta and Khanewal to Raiwind.
The source said that if the ADB agreed to fund one or all of the projects, there would be feasibility studies which would take about six months.
Apart from the ADB, American, Japanese and Chinese investors have also expressed an interest in various Railways projects, according to the official. “The PR authorities have invited them to invest in approved projects, like for the procurement of 3,000 passenger coaches.”