RAWALPINDI – Ministry of Railways will spend around Rs 22.8 billion to execute 37 projects for rehabilitation of its infrastructure and reinvigorating services in the fiscal year 2012-13, making the organization a profit-earning entity.
He said the government has allocated Rs 2.5 billion for procurement of around 200 locomotives to help bridge the shortfall of engines, particularly for freight services, adding that Rs. one billion will be spent on special repair of 150 locomotives.
Second priority, Bilour said, would be the rehabilitation and doubling of railway tracks for which Rs3.8 billion have been earmarked in the next financial year. “The ministry will spend Rs1.5 billion for doubling of Khanewal-Raiwind track, Rs638 million on doubling of track from Lodhran to Khanewal, Rs300 million on Shahdara-Lalamusa track and Rs 217 million on Shahdara-Faisalabad.”
He said the Ministry was still trying to recover the damage done to the railways’ assets in the incidents in 2007 and 2010 - floods, adding “Rs800 million and Rs250 million have been earmarked respectively to repair the damaged infrastructure.”
However, he said major chunk of the budget would be spent on the procurement and manufacturing of 202 passenger coaches of latest design from China. Bilour said the Ministry will launch a pilot project for mechanization of track maintenance system besides rehabilitation and conversion of 400 coaches at a cost of Rs116 million.
The Minister said that the Ministry has already initiated a pilot project for manufacturing of five 3000HP locomotives to efficiently run its passenger and train services.
He said a ‘Project Management Unit’ was also being established in the Ministry that would help execute different projects in a smooth manner avoiding any procedural delays.
Bilour said Rs300 million would be spent for strengthening and rehabilitation of 159 ‘weak bridges’ to avoid any untoward incide “Two dry ports will be set up at Prem Nagar and at Shershah Railway Station for which Rs494 million and Rs485 million have been allocated respectively,” the minister said.