ISLAMABAD: The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Railway Connectivity Investment Programme has kicked off with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approving $1 million as technical assistance for the project.
The technical assistance will develop a multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) and tranche projects bankable by the ADB loan, and conduct due diligence for technical, economic, financing, social and environmental viability of the first tranche project and prepare required due diligence documents.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways will be the executing agency of the project while project beneficiaries include business community and traders, freight forwarders, transport operators as well as passengers and the local community landed and non-landed in project corridor.
The CAREC railway programme has been designed to improve the railway sector in Pakistan by making the railway transport system more efficient and competitive. The outcome will be improved railway corridor of Lahore-Peshawar and improved institutional efficiency of Pakistan Railways.
The project will result in upgrading of 411km of upgraded and dualised railway track for the Lahore-Peshawar section together with new signaling and telecommunications system and upgraded passenger facilities at Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. For the past 150 years, railways have played an important role in the social, political, and economic life in Pakistan. For most of that time, railways were the leading mode of transport, in many places the only available mode.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2016