Khawaja Saad Rafique, the minister of railways, has given instructions to completely resume freight operations on ML-1 within five days.
The instructions were made at a meeting the minister of railroads held on Monday to discuss the upkeep of ML-1, ML-2, and ML-3 rails.
He told them the train track would be repaired as soon as the floodwaters subsided and instructed the officials to ease engineering restrictions on the main Lahore-Karachi railway line.
The concerned officials have also been told to finish repairing the Quetta-Taftan sections by the end of this month. Similarly, the minister ordered an increase in the monthly freight train traffic on the international sections of Quetta-Zahedan from 5 to 15.
Because of unanticipated monsoon rain and flooding, the railway track between Quetta and Taftan was suspended after a crucial bridge fell.
During the discussion, the minister added, “Coal should be removed from Karachi as soon as customs clearance is complete, and freight charges should be rationalized according to the market.”
He gave the order for the permanent appointment of a transportation officer in Zahedan and the successful delivery of aid from Turkey.
“The rehabilitation and reconstruction work is in full swing in coordination with the district administration of Balochistan to restore the rail service in flood-affected areas,” an official in the ministry of railways told while sharing the update on railway track restoration operations in flood-hit areas.
According to the official, Pakistan Railways was also instructed to expedite the repair process and finish the ongoing survey of the affected infrastructure on a war footing.
The official stated that after the floodwater recedes, the department’s technical and non-technical workers will work in three shifts to restore the rails.
He claimed that in the remaining divisions, seven to eight bridges had suffered damage, which had forced the suspension of rail service in the flood-affected districts.
Due to the buildup of floodwater on the railway, Pakistan Railways’ administration last week decided to suspend train reservations between Lahore and Karachi until September 19. All commercial officers in the nation received a notification in this regard.
Over 28 up and down trains on the railway system are currently closed. Train operations have been suspended as a result of the track’s condition, as well as the signal system and bridges that have been destroyed. The department has already lost more than Rs15 billion as a result of the railway closures.