Pakistan’s rail sector is cumbersome with a number of problems affecting both passengers and the intermodal sector. There are many reasons for such a decrepit rail network and one wonders what and how the potential causes for such a run-down rail system might be, especially when other countries with the similar financial conditions have made progress in this sector.
Pakistan Railways (PR) is all set to encourage tenders for the first and largest transport sector project in the country, Main Line-1 (ML-1) from 12 September. Documents of bidding have been formulated. The completion of the USD 6.8 billion ML-1 upgrade project was divided into three separate packages Nawabshah to Rohri / Sukkar, Multan to Lahore & Walton Academy, and Lahore to Lalamusa & Kaluwal to Pindora.
By inviting tenders to be made public on 12 September, the Railway Ministry will strive indication of interest in the upgrade of the above-mentioned ML-1 packages in the EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) mode from eligible Chinese firms. The details of the capital investment are still ambiguous. The invitation to tender simply states that the “project will be financed under a CPEC financing arrangement through a loan from Chinese financial institutions and partially financed by the Government of Pakistan.”
“Under the structure agreement signed between the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, only Chinese companies/consortia are able to participate in the bidding process,” reads the invitation. The PR also set a deadline of 22 October for the submission of tenders for the project.
The acceptance of bids by the Railway sector is a big initiative by the Government of Pakistan. The reason that it will be beneficial for CPEC, entrepreneurs, and the government of Pakistan is that because this sound institution will provide vital and significant incentives for the businessmen and will pave way for the development of Pakistan under the flagship of CPEC. The railway sector of Pakistan is comparatively poor and to furnish Pakistan’s railway sector, privatization of railway lines and providing emblematic incentives to the businessmen will bring confetti for the development sector of Pakistan and will bolster Pakistan’s economy.