Pakistan Railways on road to revival?

August 20th, 2012 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 20 (IANS) The beleaguered Pakistan Railways may be finally on the road to revival, as the government has approved various projects at a whopping cost of Rs.287 billion ($3 billion), a Pakistani daily said Monday.

A major chunk — Rs.246 billion — approved by the National Economic Council will be spent on reviving the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), the Dawn reported.

The KCR’s revival was planned in 2006, but lack of funds delayed its implementation.

Now that Japan has agreed to lend money, its completion will help unclog the port city’s roads, the daily said.

The remaining fund will be used for purchasing locomotives, bogies and high-speed power vans and for repairing the existing 150 diesel engines.

The railway has been in dire straits for several years now. Only 76 locomotives out of 520 are in operation, for want of repair.

The number of passenger trains today is around 65-70 from the official 204. Freight services have virtually shut down.

The daily blamed corruption, overstaffing and inefficient management for the collapse of the service.

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