Pakistan Railways Enhances ROW Charges for Next Five Years

Tue Dec 19 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has significantly raised the Right of Way (ROW) charges, now standing at Rs. 3.8 million for a single-track crossing over five years.

This marks a substantial increase from the historical charge of Rs. 100,000 per track crossing for 10 years when telecom operators initially installed fiber broadband, according to sources in the Ministry.

In 2007, the charges were raised to Rs. 2.7 million for five years to accommodate the expanding use of fiber broadband. However, in 2022, the PTI-led government reduced the crossing charges to Rs. 600,000 per crossing for a lifetime to promote fiber broadband. In contrast, cable TV operators only pay Rs. 100 per year.

Notably, Pakistan Railways has proposed a joint venture with private sector investors to lay fiber optic cables along its 7,791-kilometer railway network nationwide. This initiative aims not only to enhance the department’s financial condition but also to attract investors.

During the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting, the Ministry of Railways highlighted the significant opportunity for laying fiber optics cables along the railway tracks, facilitating digital connectivity across the country.

With its extensive network passing through high-density population areas and connecting major cities in the four provinces, Pakistan Railways sees this venture as a means to generate revenue and address its deteriorating financial health. —APP



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