Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed—the Minister for Railways on Tuesday said that solid measures would be taken for opening the Sibi-Harnai railway route in the span of the next three months.
He informed that the route was closed after ten bridges were blown up in 2006.
He informed that he has asked the Chief Minister of Baluchistan for providing complete security on the railway route, as it would not be possible to open the route otherwise.
The minister for Railways further added that just a months’ renovation work is left to be done on the 137-kilometer route.
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Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also informed the Senate that his ministry has decreased the train fares, but the Baluchistan trains are running in losses while the trains in other parts of the country had an occupancy rate of 100 percent.
The minister added that the number of freight trains would also be increased from ten to twenty, he informed that two freight trains would be given to the private sector for the facilitation of the business community.
The Sibi-Harnai railway route was started back in the year 1882 as mentioned by the Senator Usman. He informed that it was a part of the Sibi Division and at present, it is not linked to either road or railways. He added that people have to travel an extra distance of greater than 300 kilometres to reach Quetta.
The senator informed that Harnai has got the largest deposits of coal that is up to 100 million tonnes. Previously, 2 trains piled from Harnai to Sibi carrying coal in 1000 wagons annually were operated. He informed that Harnai was also supplying sugarcane and vegetables to other parts of the nation. Now the commodities are being carried by trucks which are charging Rs80,000 to Rs100,000.
He further informed that in the Baluchistan assembly, a resolution was passed for repairing the railway station and tender in this regard was approved back in the year 2016, however, the opening route was delayed.