CDA and China Railway to operate light rail transit system

CDA and China Railway to operate light rail transit system

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is optimistic that China Railway will operate a light rail transit (LRT) system in the nation’s capital.

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LRT is a high-capacity public transportation system comprised of electric trains that operate on dedicated tracks.

According to CDA officials, a recent meeting between CDA management and China Railway representatives ended on a positive note.

Member of Planning Waseem Hayat Bajwa told Dawn on Friday, “Recently, we met with China Railway officials to discuss the LRT. Now, we will reconvene in 10 days to continue our discussion.”

Mr. Bajwa expressed optimism that the next meeting will result in some type of breakthrough.

“The first meeting was a great success,” he said, adding that the CDA planned to introduce LRT on two routes: the Islamabad Motorway and the route from the new airport to H-8.

In the past, the CDA identified multiple LRT routes, according to official statements. However, it is now only concentrating on two routes: Rawat GT Road to Faisal Mosque and H-8 to the airport.

According to them, the former railway track from H-8 to Golra could be used for LRT.

During the meeting, Chinese officials were briefed on the available railway track from H-8 to Golra, according to a CDA official.

He stated that in the future, both LRT routes could be connected to the existing network of metro buses.

Member of planning stated that if China Railway’s proposal was adopted, both parties could sign an intergovernmental agreement.

A few months ago, the CDA had approached the Economic Affairs Division requesting for arrangement of funds from any international donor such as the Asian Development Bank or the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the project. Nonetheless, China Railway’s interest was a favorable development for the civic organization.

If discussions with Chinese officials continue to be fruitful in forthcoming meetings, the CDA will ask them to lay the tracks and operate the LRT, according to its representatives.

“We will provide them with backhand support, but they will operate independently,” the officials said, adding that if the Chinese company encountered financial difficulties, the government could provide the residual funds to ensure the project’s viability.

The local population in the capital city does not have access to a railway system, and the metro bus service on a few routes is insufficient to meet their transportation requirements. According to the initial working paper, four potential LRT routes have been identified.

They are a 30.5-kilometer route from Rawat to Faisal Mosque on Islamabad Motorway and Faisal Avenue, a 13.7-kilometer route from N5 commonly known as G.T Road to Pakistan Monument via Srinagar Highway, a 27.5-kilometer route from Rawat T.Chowk to 26 No Stop on G.T Road, and a 10.4-kilometer route from Pirwadhai to Faizabad via Karnal Sher Khan Road. However, the focus is presently only on two routes.

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