Railways restore long-awaited Sibi-Harnai track for traffic

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 (Alliance News): Pakistan Railways has finally restored the long-awaited Sibi-Harnai railway track for traffic after the completion of reconstruction and renovation work of the project with the support of the National Logistics Cell (NLC).

“The railway’s track was made dysfunctional after a series of bomb blasts which damaged 22 steel bridges in the highly rugged and inaccessible area,” an official in the Ministry of Railways told Alliance News.

 

 

He said the reconstruction and renovation work on the strategic Sibi-Harnai railway was completed with the assistance of the NLC. “The restoration of the railway between the twin historical cities of Sibi and Harnai will have a positive impact on the economy and agriculture of the entire region,” the official added.

 

With the rehabilitation of the railway track, he said not only the students of district Harnai and Ziarat will also get opportunities to acquire higher education but also boost the economic and commercial activities in the region.

 

“Pakistan Railways restored the Sibi-Harnai section, with the support of Pakistan Army, connecting people and business in the remote areas of the country,” Secretary Railways Syed Mazhar Ali said in a tweet.

 

The official said the department had shown a keen interest in the completion of the reconstruction and renovation work of the project.

 

In March 2016, he said that a contract for rehabilitation and restoration of the Sibi-Harnai railway track along with the up-gradation of railway stations was awarded to the NLC as no other construction firm agreed to undertake the project due to the prevalent security situation and enormity of the task.

 

During the initial survey of the track, the official said it was found that 22 steel bridges of different sizes were destroyed and required replacement for the restoration of the train operation.

 

He said in addition, massive river protection work was to be undertaken to save the infrastructure. The quantum of work, non-availability of road access, and requisite resources made the project a formidable challenge, he added.

 

The official said undertaking the project with the sincerity of purpose and utmost sense of duty, the NLC officers, engineers, and construction workers braved harsh weather conditions and a hostile security environment and subsequently completed the rehabilitation works in record time.

 

Terming the fabrication of steel bridges as a major task, he said that the steel bridges were fabricated in Karachi and were transported to the project site after being painstakingly assembled by NLC engineers in a befitting manner.

 

He said a total of nine railway stations along with tracks had been upgraded by NLC engineers including the reconstruction of Harnai Railway Station and a complete renovation of Sibi Railways Station, which could be regarded as the finest railway station in Balochistan.

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