ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the Main Line-1 project would prove as an opportunity for advanced up-gradation of Pakistan Railways besides creating thousands of jobs in the country.

The premier while chairing a meeting on ML-1 project to review its progress termed the ML-1 an essential segment of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and expressed confidence that it would boost economic activity.

Imran Khan said ML-1 project would ensure provision of best passenger and goods services as the government was focusing on giving priority to public welfare and development. He said the ML-1 project would open new vistas of social and economic avenues.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chairman CPEC Authority Gen (retired) Asim Saleem Bajwa and senior officials. The prime minister was briefed on the implementation of the ML-1 project within stipulated time-frame and its benefits as well.

Under the ML-1 project, the 1,872 kilometres rail track from Karachi to Peshawar will be doubled. The speed of passenger trains will be increased to 160 km/h with freight trains to be operated at 120 km/h. The project will ensure computerized signaling and control system. The Executive Committee of National Economic Council this month gave nod to ML-1 project at an estimated cost of $6.806 billion under CPEC.