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'Bullet train will be a dream come true'

Updated May 16, 2013

NAWAZ Sharif has promised to start a bullet train from Peshawar to Karachi. Many nay-sayers are questioning the project. The same people said the same thing when Mr Sharif started the motorway. My job takes me to Punjab frequently and I travel on the motorway from Lahore to go to Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

It’s a joyride. Moreover the development around the motorway is remarkable. I have also widely travelled in Sindh. Comparing the roads in Sindh a friend of mine told me the other day: “When you leave Sunjerpur in Punjab and enter Sindh, you don’t need a road sign to tell you that you are now in Sindh, the road speaks for itself.”

The same nay-sayers are saying that Pakistan would not be able to finance the project. I will say to Mr Sharif: Tundee eh baad e mukhalif say na ghabra eh Auqab Yeh tou chaltee heh tujhay ooncha uranay ka lee yeh

Trucks take 72 hours to reach Lahore from Karachi on an average, whereas the new Business train takes 18 hours only. The bullet train will require even less. It would not only be good for thousands of passengers but would also be great for goods transportation.

The Pakistan Railways is probably the richest as far as as land assets are concerned. They have the choicest property from Karachi to Peshawar.

In Karachi, the Pakistan Railways has the best of the best property in Karachi’s heartland.

Starting from the west of Karachi City Station and travelling on Moulvi Tameezuddin Khan Road towards Dr Ziauddin Ahmad Road, the Pakistan Railways owns an open area of about 400 metres by 1,000 metres.

They use it for storing containers and have some godowns. If we divide this 400,000 square metres of land into 50 meter by 50 meter commercial plots, 160 sky scrapers can be built on this area. It will be within one kilometer of Karachi’s Zero point which is the Karachi City Railway Station, and the City’s Business district of I.I Chundrigar road.

If Railways insist they can ask the builders to leave space at the grade for containers and start constructing their office cum residential estate above it. Similarly Karachi Cantonment station has 800 meters by 100 meters land available on the east side of the station. Using 50 meters by 50 metres per plot, 32 skyscrapers can be constructed.

The presence of 192 skyscrapers in the heart of Karachi is mouth-watering for any world-class construction company, Businessmen and people who want to minimise travel time to offices would love this option.

Karachi alone would be able to help Pakistan Railways generate millions of dollars. However, if we do this for Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Gujrat also, we can surely generate the amount Mr Sharif wants for this game-changing project.

S. NAYYAR IQBAL RAZA Karachi