ISLAMABAD -  A parliamentary committee was Thursday informed that it is unlikely that Railway ML-I track, from Karachi to Peshawar, will be started during the tenure of the present government.

"Due to lack of experience in modern railways, ML-I track will not be started during my tenure" said Federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Railway.

The Senate Standing Committee for Railways that met with Senator Fateh Muhammad Hasni in chair discussed illegal occupation of Railways lands in different part of the country and devised a mechanism to recover the lands. Senator Javed Abbasi inquired that how Railways land worth billion of rupees was grabbed by the private individual in Sindh.

The Railways officials informed that they have the land record from the British rule but it is incomplete which made it difficult to undertake any action.

Kh Saad Rafique informed the committee that Railways land was evacuated in Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan but the Supreme Court decision was not being implemented in Sindh and Punjab. There was no political obstruction but the bureaucracy was creating hurdles for recovery of the land in Punjab and Sindh, he added.

He said the issue can only be resolved by Supreme Court. Saad Refiq said that Railways recovered 4400 kanal land in Wazirabad. The Shalimar Hospital in Lahore was also built on Railways land and we are asking for the alternative land but they are not ready to accept it.

He said that the illegal occupation of Railways land had taken place both in military and civilian government. The example of Railway Palm Club Lahore has proved that land was also occupied during the military rule.

The chairman of the committee said that illegal occupation of Railways land could affect the Pakistan China Economic Corridor. The official of Sindh government informed that the maps of Karachi Circular Railway(KCR) were approved by China and asked to bring the Project to ECC for its necessary approval. The official informed that encroachment from the KCR sites have been removed.

Senator Taj Haider asked the ministry of railway to accelerate the approval of the project. Kh Saad Rafiq said that ministry was waiting for the response of China for funding of KCR project.

He said that the project of Karachi Circular Railway will be put before the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet. Regarding the value of PTCL land at Chaman the committee was informed that the representative of the State Bank of Pakistan has evaluated the price of the land.