The CDA plans to collaborate with China to build a Light Rail Transit in Islamabad due to the city’s lack of a local railway system and insufficient transportation options.
Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, currently lacks a railway system for local residents, and the existing metro bus service is insufficient to meet the city’s transportation demands. Therefore, the government is planning to build a Light Rail Transit in Islamabad with the help of the Chinese government.
There is optimism within the Capital Development Authority (CDA) about the possibility of collaborating with China Railway to operate a light rail transit in the Islamabad. The LRT system, characterized by electric trains running on dedicated tracks, is being considered for implementation in the capital. Following a recent meeting between CDA officials and representatives from China Railway, the CDA is reporting positive outcomes from the discussion.
Officials from the CDA management and China Railway recently convened a meeting, which, according to CDA representatives, concluded on a positive note. According to Waseem Hayat Bajwa, Member Planning at CDA, they recently had a meeting with China Railway officials regarding the LRT project, and another meeting is scheduled in the next 10 days to delve deeper into the matter. Bajwa expressed hope that the upcoming meeting could lead to a significant breakthrough, citing the initial meeting as highly successful.
CDA officials have stated that if negotiations proceed successfully with the Chinese officials in future meetings, they could request China Railway to handle the construction and operation of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Islamabad. The CDA would offer support, and in case of financial constraints faced by the Chinese company, the government could step in to provide the necessary funds to ensure the project’s sustainability.
If China Railway’s proposal is accepted, both parties may enter into a government-to-government agreement. Previously, the CDA had sought funding from international donors like the Asian Development Bank or the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). However, China Railway’s expressed interest is viewed positively by the civic agency.
CDA officials have indicated that if negotiations with Chinese officials prove successful in subsequent meetings, they will request the Chinese company to lay the tracks and operate the LRT system. The government could invest additional funds if the Chinese company encounters financial challenges to ensure the project’s sustainability.
Routes For Light Rail Transit in Islamabad
While initially, there were four potential LRT routes under consideration, the current emphasis is solely on the two mentioned routes: Rawat to Faisal Mosque on Islamabad Expressway and from H-8 to the airport. Notably, an existing railway track from H-8 to Golra could be repurposed for the LRT. During the meeting, Chinese officials received a briefing about the available railway track from H-8 to Golra. There is potential to connect both LRT routes to the existing metro bus network in the future.
What is Routes For Light Rail Transit (LRT)?
Light-rail transit, or LRT, is a type of fast public transportation that uses electric-powered single cars or short trains on fixed tracks. The term “light” doesn’t mean they’re lightweight; it means they carry fewer people compared to bigger trains. LRT is based on old streetcar systems but has been updated to be faster and carry more passengers in big cities.
LRT vehicles can run on roads or in the middle of highways, and they often have their own lanes to avoid traffic. They can even use old train tracks, tunnels, or drainage canals to stay away from regular traffic. When they have to cross roads, they get special traffic signals to keep things moving.
Like big trains, LRT doesn’t stop very often when it’s going long distances, which helps it go faster. However, in busy city areas, it might stop more often, like streetcars, to make it easier for people to get on and off.
The government of Pakistan is planning to collaborate with China to build a Light Rail Transit in Islamabad due to the city’s lack of a local railway system and insufficient transportation options. Positive outcomes have emerged from recent meetings between Islamabad’s Capital Development Authority (CDA) and China Railway officials, with the possibility of China Railway handling both the construction and operation of the LRT system, potentially leading to a government-to-government agreement if negotiations continue successfully. The focus is currently on two LRT routes, one from Rawat to Faisal Mosque on Islamabad Expressway and the other from H-8 to the airport, with potential connections to the existing metro bus network in the future.