KARACHI: Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Pakistan Railways along with his team visited head office of Karachi Port Trust on Friday to discuss the potential of transportation of cargo through rail service.
Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and KPT Chairman Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar welcomed the delegation.
The meeting was held on the invitation of Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs to make effective use of the railways services in transportation of cargo/containers from Karachi Port which presently is highly biased towards trucks/trailers.
Subject matter experts from Pakistan Railways including: Chief Executive Officer Aftab Akbar, DS Railways Syed Mazhar Ali Shah and Additional General Manager Aijaz Ahmed Bariro and Manager Imtiaz attended the meeting.
During the briefing, an overview was given to the visiting Pakistan Railways delegation pertaining to port parameters and outlay of present and future cargo handling capacity of KPT.
While appreciating the port capacity and capability upgrading projects namely Freight Corridor, Bulk Cargo Terminal, Special Economic Zone and LNG Complex. Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid showed keen interest in exploiting the cargo lifting opportunities available at KPT arising after completion of aforesaid projects.
To establish the yard, comparison of regional cargo lifting capacity by railways was also presented. Having seen the comparison Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways showed his resolve to work hand in gloves with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs in promoting and enhancing the cargo lifting potential of Pakistan Railways.
A high level executive committee comprising of KPT and Pakistan Railways has also been constituted.
Committee has been mandated to review the present capacity and put up way forward for enhancing freight percentage of Pakistan Railways as has been highlighted in various studies conducted by World Bank and other stakeholders.
The Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs and Federal Railways Minister decided to monitor the progress of committee on fortnightly basis.
The Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar offered his absolute support in upgrading the railways infrastructure situated inside the port premises to facilitate efficient handling of locomotives/wagons.
A memorandum of understanding between KPT and Pakistan Railways has also been agreed in principle wherein the repairs and maintenance of rail tracks and associated structures will be undertaken through the engineering experts of Pakistan Railways.
Later the delegation also visited the port area.
Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways appreciated the port operations and acknowledged the Karachi Port Trust’s contribution in the economy and trade activities of the country.