Tuesday, December 7

Revival of Khyber Safari Train to commence soon — Qadri

By: Ashrafuddin Pirzada

PAKISTAN: On the directives of federal minister Dr, Noorul Haq Qadri, Pakistan Railway officials and technical staff visited Kbyber district to rebuild the British era Safari railway track damaged by flash floods fourteen years ago.

The railway officials team was comprised of devisional superintendent Peshawar Muhammad Yousuf,Lahore railway headquaters chief engineer Irfanulhaq, assistant general manager traffic Mazhar Ali Shah and their tichnical staff. They first inspected the railway track at various points in district Khyber especially in Landikotal.

They also checked the damaged railway track washed away in flash floods in the past years in Khyber Zakhakhel localities.

The Safari railway track was functional upto 2007 and the train used to run for tourists who visit Landikotal and the historical Bab-e-Khyber in the train. 

Lahore railway headquaters chief engineer Irfanulhaq said they visited Khyber district to revive and rebuild the railway track from Peshawar to Torkham. He said federal minister Dr,Noorul Haq Qadri had sent letters to railway ministry taking his keen interst to revive railway between Peshawar and Torkham. He said they inspected the railway track and would soon start work on it. 

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He said tourism and business activities would again be reboosted after Safari train get started. He said Peshawar-Landikotal railway had a rich historical background. 

Later, the railway officials held a meeting with FBR representatives in Torkham  where they were briefed about the over all situation and importance of railway reinstatement in the economy of Pakistan.

FBR official told the railway highups that Integrated Transit Trade Management System report would soon be compiled to place it for recommendations.They said that revival of railway would help create jobs and tourism in district Khyber. 

Muhammad Yousuf said revival of Khyber Safari train would not only enhance trade ties with Afghanistan but it would provide an easy and cheap route to transport Pakistani goods to central Asian states and Europe. 

Federal minister Dr,Noorul Haq Qadri told this correspondent that on his personal interest the railway minister sent a team of experts to check the ground situation of the century-old Safari train track in Khyber.

He added that beside the repairing of the old railway track the government had also  approved a separate Karachi-Torkham  ML-1 fast track railway system. 

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“Fast track Karachi-Torkham railway track would have its separate route and tunnels and its PC-1 is already approved”,said the minister. He added that China had interest to expend China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) via Afghanistan to the rest of the countries. He said China also wanted its trade with central Asian countries and Europe via Pakistan and Afghanistan for which they want expending railway tracks and roads.He confirmed that he was in contact with Railway ministry and hopefully reparing work would start soon.

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