ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Railways is working to improve rail connectivity with Karachi Port Trust, Bin Qasim and Gwadar ports for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Ministry of Railways Chairperson Parveen Agha.

Chairing the Second Inter Ministerial Meeting on improvement of connectivity with ports on Tuesday, she said that for this purpose PR is working on doubling and improvement of existing track from Port Qasim to Bin Qaim.

"The new track of 10.30 km out of 13 km is completed. The extension/construction of 5 bridges has been started on the track. There is 85pc of cumulative financial progress on this project," she said.

She also claimed there is substantial increase in line capacity of Main Line-I.

It was proposed in the meeting that railway track extension shall be done up to pilot gate of KPT. This track will be adjacent to Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT).

The representative of KPT also raised the issue of condemned wagons.

According to Pakistan Railway, the condemned wagons are being cleared on priority and so far 179 out of 525 condemned wagons have been cleared.

It was decided that South Asia Pakistan Terminal Limited (SAPT) has to furnish vertical and horizontal coordinates for lying of 1.1 km of track.

It was proposed by KICT to give its Bolan gate to SAPT for convenience.

It was informed that scrap alongside the track has been cleared and now full length trains are being placed for loading of coal/phosphate at Kemari.

The issue of loading of containers from inside Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) was also discussed and it was informed that although right of way inside PICT is not established yet loading from inside the terminal has been started recently through coordination among PR, KPT and PICT.

The KPT management has also assured rehabilitation of Railways yards inside the trust.

The rail connectivity with Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) at Port Qasim was also discussed.

The PIBT is interested in creation of state of the art freight station for the PR.

It was informed that Pakistan Railway is giving importance to rail connectivity with ports.

The meeting was attended by Mumtaz Ali Shah, Secretary Maritime Affairs, Asif Hammad, GM KPT, Syed Rashid Jamil, CEO, SAPT, Horace Hui, CEO, KICT and Khurram Khan, CEO PICT.

While Agha Waseem, Syed Munawar Shah, Syed Mazhar Ali Shah and Basharat Waheed represented the Ministry of Railways.