Government authorizes ML-1’s initial phase.

The Pakistan Railways’ current main Line-1 (ML-1) was cleared for upgrade on Tuesday by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

Under the direction of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, the $6.7 billion project would be completed in two stages, according to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec).

The first phase, which would cost $3.32 billion and run from Karachi to Multan, was approved by the committee; however, the Karachi-Hyderabad portion will only cost $1.1 billion, thanks to an agreement from the Chinese.

The prime minister directed on Saturday that the ML-I project be divided into two stages and submitted for approval to Ecnec.

Phase-I costs $3.32 billion and stretches 929 km from Karachi to Multan.

Phase II of the project will begin if funding from CPEC or other sources has been confirmed. It will span 797 kilometers and cost $3.36 billion, connecting Multan and Peshawar.

Ecnec also approved the Rs123.2 billion flood response emergency housing project in a separate transaction. Funding for the project will come from the government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). A $400 million loan will be given by the ADB.

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