Pakistan China likely to sign agreement in August For ML-1 railway project

In the first week of August, Pakistan and China are set to finalize an agreement for the Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway project.

The Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway project’s finance has been agreed between Pakistan and China, according to informed individuals with knowledge of the development and ARY News.

By starting the $10 billion Mainline-1 (ML-1) railway project between Karachi and Peshawar in October 2020, Pakistan and China would broaden the scope of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) beyond government-to-government cooperation.

According to additional sources, Pakistan and China will sign the contract for the ML-1 project within the first week of August. According to the deal, the complex project will be finished at a cost of $6.5 billion, down from $8 billion.

15% of the project’s financing will come from Pakistan. According to sources, Pakistan asked to lower the ML-1 project’s cost, according to ARY News.

The 1733-kilometer railway track from Karachi to Peshawar will be upgraded and doubled as part of the ML-1 project, which will also put in place new signaling and telecom infrastructure. The trains will be able to go at 140 km/h thanks to upgrading the railway rails.

The proposal to fence every railway track was put on hold to cut costs, but the tracks in populated areas would still be enclosed.

Construction of overhead bridges and the closing of railway crossings in populated areas will take place in the first phase.

The Main Line-1 (ML-1) framework was agreed between Pakistan and China in May 2017, and the project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in August 2020.

Work on the ML-1 project would start before the end of this year, the minister for railways Khawaja Saad Rafique stated earlier in the month.

He stated that the ML-I project negotiations have advanced and expressed optimism that a deal would be reached before the end of the current year.

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