Iraq is considering building a new rail line linking Karbala and Najaf to ease road traffic congestion between the two holy cities, the official Arabic language daily Alsabah said on Tuesday.

Authorities in the two cities are working on a plan for a train link after a surge in the number of devout Muslim visitors from Iraq, Iran and other countries, the paper said, quoting Okail Al-Fatlawi, a member of Parliament’s Transport Committee.

The paper said Fatlawi spoke after attending a meeting of the governors of the two cities in Karbala to discuss the project and seek cabinet approval.

“We believe the construction of a rail line will largely reduce traffic congestion between the two cities especially during religious occasions,” Fatlawi said, adding that the project could be offered to private investors.

Fatlawi did not mention project cost estimates or the length of the rail but the two cities are nearly 75km away from each other.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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