KCR to be completed within present government tenure

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique have resolved to complete Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) Project within present tenure of their governments to provide modern, rapid and low cost transportation facilities at least to the 0.7 million commuters per day.

This was stated by them while presiding over a meeting jointly regarding implementation of the KCR project and to resolve other issues pertaining to Pakistan Railways here on Sunday.

The meeting decided to constitute eight member committee headed by Commissioner Karachi with Secretary Transport, Secretary Finance, MD-KCR, PD KCR, Administrator KMC Additional IG Police Sindh and DS Railway as members to remove encroachments on KCR tracks, prepare workable evacuation and resettlement plan for these affectees by May 20 so that Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) of the plan could be initiated.

Both the government also expressed their willingness to invest in the rehabilitation plan, instead of wasting time in looking for lenders and decided to keep financial provision in the next budget to complete this project within their present tenure.

The Chief Minister directed the Sindh Police to launch joint patrolling with Railway police at the sensitive parts of railway tracks.

He also constituted the committee headed by Additional Inspector General of Sindh Police to work out proposals for evolving effective mechanism on permanent basis.

About unmanned railway crossings in Sindh, the CM informed the meeting that as many as 44 such crossings have been indentified and Sindh Government has allocated Rs. 100 million for construction of gates to avoid loss of human lives.

The CM Sindh also agreed to provide two magistrates to the Railway department to work at Hyderabad and Sukkur to ensure removal of encroachments from railway land and other properties.

The meeting also decided to restore the old historical glories of Karachi Cantt Station and railway stadium at I.I Chundrigar road to beautify the city spots. The CM assured full administrative support to Railways in this regard.

The Chief Minister Sindh said that his Government was eagerly interested in the implementation on the KCR Project. He said that this important project is being considered as a national project to facilitate the people.

He said his government was so much interested in the project that it retrieved 283 acres of illegally occupied land at Juma Ghoth for resettlement of the affected people. Anti encroachment force is also working in clearing encroached land along KCR.

He said that in addition to that his Government was also implementing BRT and LRT Buses transits facilities in the city and in addition to KCR, these projects would enable people of Karachi reach their work places in time.

The Federal Minister for Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique said that all formalities regarding implementation on KCR have been completed except removal of encroachment from the track land.

He said that this matter was discussed with the Prime Minister and it was decided to resolve this issue immediately without waiting for lenders. He said that this is an important project and the Federal Government was keen to complete it under the leadership of Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who has already worked a lot.

He said that his Ministry was also working to provide maximum travelling facilities to the people and to protect the land and other assets of Pakistan Railway. He said old glories of Karachi Cantt Station would also be restored. About KCR.

The route of the KCR project would be 43.12 km of which 23.8 km would be elevated and 3.7 Km would be undergroud and it would be executed by Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC). It to be facilitated with un interrupted power supply, water supply, electronic traction infrastructure, modernized signalling / telecommunication system, availability of utility Kiosks, banks, post offices, book shops, libraries, reading room, food cafe, cultural centres, parking space at each station and will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.6 billion US dollars of which 90% has been offered by JICA as soft loans while 10% will be borne by Federal and Provincial Government as per their share.