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Railway purchasing 175 locomotives from US and China.

KARACHI, November 24, 2009 (Balochistan Times): Pakistan Railway has finalised program to buy 150 locomotives including 75 from China and rest from the US. This was stated by Chairman Pakistan Railways Sami-ul-Haq Khilji in an interview. He said talks are being held with EXIM Bank of China for loan for purchase of 75 Chinese locomotives are expected to finalise this week. He said China has agreed to provide 85 percent of loan at 2.22 percent mark-up. He said that under the railways development plan, railway is procuring over 200 coaches, 500 high speed capacity wagons and another 300 later. He said that besides induction of rolling stock, the development plan also incorporates improvement of track, IT and Human resource improvement, capacity building and merit-based induction. He hoped that with these measures it would be possible to revive Pakistan railway on modern lines. Referring to Karachi Circular Railway project, Mr Khilji said that Japan is providing a loan for this 1.558 billion dollar project at 0.2 percent mark-up. He said that Jetro has prepared the financial and operational model of the project and approved by the ECC. He said that work is also in hand to deal with the resettlement of the project affectees and Sindh Government has been requested for their resettlement in Jumma Goth. Khilji said that environment assessment for the project is underway and all these things would be finalised within 5-6 months by a JICA team which is here for the purpose. Replying to a question as to the measures being considered to make railway a profitable entity. In this regard working is going on transportation of bulk imports. He disclosed that to deal with the railways real estate assets, an assets management company is being formed. Chairman Railway has conceived an integrated development plan whereby railway employees would be provided constructed houses. The plan also incorporates the commercialization of railway properties with settlement of title issue with the provincial government. He said development of new railway stations is also on the card and development of railway land other than the development of stations. Chairman Railway said under the plan, outsourcing of railway tickets, freight booking and various sectors are also under consideration. To a question, he said that increase in railway fares is not under consideration but these would be rationalized. To another question, Mr Khilji said freight income has registered an increase and railway is increasing the oil movement. He pointed out that at present railway is operating 4-5 oil specials and it plans to increase their number to 10.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Nov 24, 2009
Words:431
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