The Pakistan Railways (PR) and the National Railway Administration of China (NRAC) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for preparing feasibility report to upgrade PR`s track from Peshawar to Karachi or the Mainline-I a strategic scheme under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
`The NRAC will complete initial report of project`s phase-I by Dec 25,` Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad told newsman after the signing ceremony at the railways headquaners in Lahore recently.
A 45-member delegation of the NRAC, led by China`s deputy minister for railways, was also present on the occasion.
Terming the ML-l upgrade plan a backbone of the CPEC project, Sheikh Rashid said that the PR was also keen on engaging the Chinese to upgrade its strategic Mainline 11 and Ill tracks.
`If our plan to engage the Chinese for the upgrade projects under CPEC succeeds, around 100,000 new jobs will be created in the railways,` said the minister while adding that he has requested the prime minister to upgrade by one step the pay scale of all the railway employees.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate four more passenger trains at a ceremony on Nov 23 at the PM`s House.
`This will complete our target to run 10 more passenger trains under our first 100-day plan. I have invited the prime minister to visit the railways headquarters (for a briefing).
Unfortunately, Pakistan Railways has been left far behind in an era when the world is witnessing revolution in this mode of transportation. We want railways to be a vibrant and progressive department which can cater to the present day needs,` said Sheikh Rashid.