Pakistan Railways Layout:
• Pakistan's railway track extends to a total of 11899 kilometers.
• It has 54 train halts and 900 train stations in total.
• The railway extends from Karachi to Peshawar.
• There is a little-used line that goes extends from Peshawar to Afghanistan.
• There are also branch lines that extend from Nowshera to Dargai, Sukkur to Sibbi, Quetta to Chaman and Zahidan in Iran.
• The railway tracks are non-existence in the high mountains of north-western and northern areas.
• The railway cannot access Kalam, Skardu, Chitral, Mingora, and Gilgit.
• However, places at the foothills of mountains including Bannu, Peshawar, and Kohat are accessible via railway.
Reasons for the Railway Deterioration:
• It has a lack of investment.
• The rails and sleepers are worn out.
• The operations of railways are not very efficient.
• There is corruption in railways.
• There are several non-profitable stations.
• The reservation system is bad.
• There is only a single main track.
Development of Pakistan Railways since 1947:
• There was insufficient coal supply, therefore steam engines were replaced by diesel engines.
• Faster trains were introduced e.g. Shalimar Express that travel from Karachi to Lahore.
• Electric traction was given from Lahore to Khanewal that accumulates to 289 kilometers out of a total to 12625 kilometers.
• Several repair workshops were established in Sukkur, Jhelum, Islamabad, and Moghalpura.
• In 2002, work started to transform the single track to dual-track from Khanewal to Lodhran.
Recent Developments in Railways:
• The introduction of new services increased railway revenue.
• Efforts to build railway track to Gwadar that will connect Pakistan to CAS.
• The digitization of the ticket system and prevented the ticket black market.
• The introduction of a one-window ticketing system.
Revitalization of KCR (Karachi Circular Railway):
• It was in operation from the 1970s to the 1990s.
• It closed because of inefficiency and failure to meet the growing population's needs.
• The decision to reopen the KCR is still not taken.
• However, a proposal has been proposed for the expansion and reopening of KCR.
Salient Features of Proposal:
• It will be linked to newly built bridges and flyovers to provide effective rail-road links.
• KCR will be extended to provide access to suburb cities.
• The stations, ticketing system, and timetable will be improved.
Functions of Dry Ports:
• Inland cities that do not have seaports or are far away have established dry ports.
• These ports are established to promote foreign trade.
• They can make import and export procedures faster.
Locations of Dry Ports:
• There are 9 dry ports in Pakistan.
• There are in Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Larkana, Faisalabad and Lahore.
Aims of Establishment of Dry Ports:
• To fasten the checking and clearance process of Cargo.
• To reduce the burden from port Qasim and Karachi port.
• For the smooth collection of profit by the government.
• To provide easy transportation from production point to seaport.
• To increase trade activities (foreign) in the cities that are not in proximity to seaports.
Requirements for Establishing Dry Ports:
• To build a dry port, there should be an efficient rail transport in place to carry bulk and heavy cargo.
• The managerial staff should be efficient.
• They need open areas and huge storage shed.
• There should be a refrigeration facility available for perishable goods.
• There should be an efficient road network.
Roads & Motorways
Principal Roads of Pakistan:
The National Highway:
• It is also known as “The N5” and “Grand Trunk Road”.
• It extends from Karachi through Lahore, Peshawar, and Turkham for about 1260 kilometers.
The Indus Highway:
• It extends to 1204 kilometers.
• It covers Karachi to Kotri, Kotri to Dadu, Shikarpur, Dera Ismail Khan, Larkana, and Dera Ghazi Khan.
The RCD Highway:
• It extends over 600 kilometers.
• It connects Karachi to Quetta.
• It also connects Pakistan to Turkey and Iran.
• It connects Lahore to Quetta.
• It connects Sukkur to Quetta.
• It connects Pakistan to China.
Karachi to Gwadar:
• A road that connects Karachi to Gwadar is under construction.
Principal Motorways of Pakistan:
• In 1997, Islamabad to Lahore Motorway was constructed that covers 339 kilometers.
• In 2007, Islamabad to Peshawar Motorway was completed named as ‘M-1’ that covers 155 kilometers.
• The Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad Motorway named as ‘M-3’ covers 52 kilometers.
• The Karachi to Hyderabad Motorway named as ‘M-9’ covers 135 kilometers. This motorway was abandoned because of insufficient funds.
Importance of Motorways:
• Motorways made road transport efficient.
• It promoted the establishment of industrial estates on its routes.
• It promotes industrial growth as it supplies raw material to industries and goods to markets.
• The increase in industrial growth will also create new employment opportunities.
• The motorway can also be connected to CAS and Afghanistan to stimulate foreign trade.
Air Transport & Water Transport
• It is the best transport for high-value light-weight items.
• It is the fastest transport available.
• Gilgit and Skardu are accessible via air transport.
• Air cargo for perishable items to the Middle East has stimulated.
• People visit other countries via air transport generally.
Factors for Construction of International Airports:
• The flat road is required for runway construction.
• The relief and climate are also considered for the construction of international airports for smooth operation all year round.
• The location should provide the smallest route to other countries.
• International airports should be built in the capital city to facilitate foreign diplomats and delegates.
• The proper infrastructure of cities is also a requirement.
• There should trade and industrial centers.
• It is a natural seaport.
• It has several wharves i.e. a place where cargo loads/unloads.
• It receives cargo ships, tankers, and containers.
Modernization of Keamari Port:
• Support facilities have been provided for the transportation, storage, and unloading of liquid products.
• To bypass traffic congestion in the port area, flyover bridges are constructed.
• The increase in the volume of cargo is handled by the rehabilitation of berths.
• Measures have been taken for environmental protection and keeping the seawater clean.
• The storage facilities in East and West Wharves have been expanded.
• Cargo handling has been modernized by container terminals at West Wharf.
• It is another natural deep seaport of Pakistan.
• It relieves the workload on Keamari Port by utilizing modern machinery.
• It handles raw materials for Pakistan Steel Mill.
• It combines functions of industrial zones and multi-purpose deep seaport.
• It handles the cargo containing jute, LPG, iron ore, edible oil, grain, fertilizers, and coal.
• Industries include assemblies, cotton textiles, chemicals, paper, and board.
• It is located at the Makran Coast, Balochistan.
• It can become a milestone event in Pakistan's economic development.
• If Gwadar Port is developed, then it will serve the country’s economy in the following ways:
- It will facilitate the export of Balochistan’s fruits and result in Balochistan’s development.
- If port Qasim or Keamari is affected in any way, then it can serve as a substitute port.
- It can serve as an entrepot for CAS helping both Pakistan and Afghanistan’s economy.
- CAS can open their warehouse at Gwadar port for storing export material.
- Afghanistan can also store their export material at Gwadar port.
• Telecommunication devices provide communication over long distances.
• It transmits images and sounds along the radio waves or wires by converting them into signals.
• They include fax, computers, radios, telephones, and televisions.
• The Internet is a new development in telecommunication, and it connects computers by satellite and telephone.
• The Internet allows the user to send/receive emails, create webs and visit webs anywhere in the world.
• Besides the internet, cell phones are also a recent development.
• Mobile devices allow people to communicate or access the internet wirelessly.
Importance of telecommunications in Pakistan:
• It can help in the promotion of education by making distance (online) learning possible.
• The internet is helping students in the classroom to take help and guidance from the resources and information available on the world web.
Industrial Development and Marketing:
• Easy and speedy access allows industries to help with new technologies as well as to order these advance types of machinery to improve the quality of products.
• Foreign companies can open their branches in Pakistan with the introduction of advanced telecommunication facilities.
• TV, radio and social media offer great advertisement and marketing mean to industries to acquire greater and international exposure.
• The Internet offers a mean to Pakistan to improve its export activities by finding market trends and opportunities.
• Pakistan can use the e-commerce market to increase its economy.
Shortcomings of Developing Telecommunications in Pakistan:
• Any breakdown or faults in the internet service can affect the industry’s functions and operations.
• Advanced telecommunications and the use of the internet and computers are reducing employment for locals because the literacy rate is low.
• Frequent load shedding in Pakistan affects the supply of the internet.
• Easy access to everything and all kinds of websites can harm local culture.
• Computers and other IT equipment are expensive when used in large quantities.
• The computer devices and IT equipment need to be imported i.e. import burden on Pakistan’s economy.
• Development of needed infrastructure provision.
• Easy access of the internet by establishing internet cafes and centers at railway stations, post offices, pumps, and airports.
• The promotion of education channels for kids on television.
• Investment in training required skilled IT professionals.
• The development of the IT industry including software in Urdu and regional languages.
• Promoting internet usage in business and education.