LAHORE- The Pakistan Railways (PR) has inked an agreement with Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and Premier Mercantile Services (PMS) to build Prem Nagar Dry Port near Riawind on Lahore-Sahiwal section with an estimated cost of Rs 1729 million. Pakistan Railways GM (Operation) Asad Saeed, Changez Niazi of QICT and Muhammad Shoaib of PMS singed the agreement here at Railways Headquarters on Friday. The Chairman Railways Muhammad Kashif Murtaza was also present on this occasion. Later addressing a press conference in this connection, the PR Chairman Muhammad Kashif Murtaza said that Prem Nagar is situated 480-kilometers away from Lahore and the new dry-port would be made functioning from July 1, 2009. "We hope that the commercial operation on a small scale may start earlier," he claimed. He said that the Pakistan Railway has acquired 100 acres of land at Prem Nagar Railway Station for the new dry port at a total cost of Rs 122.788 million. Physical Infrastructure will be completed by June 30, 2009, provided possession of land is given to Railway during this month. Also, under the agreement, out of the total investment of Rs 1729 million, Pakistan Railways would contribute Rs 494 million, QICT Rs 575 million and PMS Rs 660 million. "The joint venture agreement is on BOT basis. The land will be handed over to QICT and PNS, 30 acres each, on lease for 35 years for setting up their own Inland Container Depots/ICDs," he added. However, the title of ownership of 100 acres of land will rest with Pakistan Railway. He also said the Pakistan Railway would construct approach road and railway facilities, such as railway tracks, signaling system, railway yard, etc., out of its investment. "The QICT and PMS will construct all other allied facilities, buildings and offices for Customs Department, Pakistan Railways, Railway Police, clients/customers, clearing agents, dispensary, mosque boundary wall and all other required buildings. They will also construct sheds, platforms, pavement of the entire area (excluding common area), installation of modern tracking system of containers and computers, electric, sewerage and watering facilities," he added. He further revealed that Prem Nagar Dry Port will also contribute significantly to the industries being established in 'Sundar Industrial Estate', which is the biggest industrial estate in the Punjab, while it will also cater for the needs of the industry in Sahiwal, Okara, Kasur, Lahore, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala districts.