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Railways Infrastructure in Balochistan being renovated ahead of schedule


News Desk | 

Over ninety-five percent of the work for reconstructing and rehabilitating the vital Sibbi-Harnai railway track has been undertaken by the National Logistics Cell (NLC). The strategically significant line connects remotely urban Northern Balochistan to the more industrial Sindh bridging through the rough terrain of interior Balochistan.

Of greater advantage is the impact such a connection would have on the economies of these regions. The Sibbi-Harnai railway will be optimizing whatever sparse logistical infrastructure that exists in the lesser developed South. Balochistan has also been the scene of a heightened insurgency as a consequence of which the railway track among many others was sabotaged by terrorists in 2006.

The difficulty of this project was also apparent in the modification of surrounding rivers; a task necessary for preserving the infrastructures in order to improve road access in the future.

However, since 2016 reconstruction efforts have been underway seeking to revitalize local communities as well as regional markets. Although slightly ahead of schedule, the colossal effort mounted by the NLC is finally nearing a close. The road from Sibbi to Harnai crosses over highly rugged ravines and the railway track was put out of service when a number of bomb blasts rendered 22 steel bridges and 10 railways stations nonfunctional.

Moreover, the passage of over a decade since then has caused incurring of various maintenance costs. It was in March 2016, that the contract for restoration of the Sibbi-Harnai railway track was awarded to the NLC since no other construction firm risked working in a region with such prevalent security and geographical concerns.

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Not only did NLC take up the extremely vital task but also upgraded the railway stations to modern standards. The difficulty of this project was also apparent in the modification of surrounding rivers; a task necessary for preserving the infrastructures in order to improve road access in the future.

NLC staff ranging from officers and engineers to construction workers and menial laborers worked in harsh weather conditions with some even laying their lives in the hostile security environment. Major among their tasks was the fabrication of steel bridges. Their parts were constructed in Karachi, shipped all the way to the project site and finally painstakingly assembled over months in an able manner.

The NLC remains dedicated to the active and continuous development of Balochistan; Pakistan’s largest yet most neglected province.

In total, nine railway stations have been reconstructed including the Harnai Railway Station and a complete overhaul of the Sibbi Railway Station, which currently stands as the province’s first-rate railway station, has been undertaken. Along with railway stations, 134 kilometers of railway line has been restored improving economic and social linkages across the country.

It is expected that these renovations will reinvigorate scale economies while sustaining broader socio-economic activities in the whole region. The NLC remains dedicated to the active and continuous development of Balochistan; Pakistan’s largest yet most neglected province. Recent projects include building the Sibbi-Kohlu road which has shortened the distance between these two districts by around 500 kilometers.

Read more: Pakistan Railways bringing in three new services

Other projects under the helm of the NLC would include construction of Kajori-Bawata road, the PPL Hospital, and Cadet College Sui. Another scheme involved the provision of free and clean water as well as educating native inhabitants through schools under the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) domain.

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