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June 8, 2017



CPEC: Work on KCR revival to kick off in December, says Murad

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he is making all-out efforts to start the Karachi Circular Railway’s (KCR) revival project at the earliest. 


This would be the most effective efficient and successful passenger transport mode, he said while presiding over a meeting with a delegation of the Chinese Railway Construction Corporation, led by its vice president, Yang Jinjun. 

Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Energy Secretary Agha Wasif and Transport Secretary Taha Farooqui also attended the meeting.

The chief minister was told that the company’s representatives had landed in Karachi and started working on the design of the important project.

Transport Minister Nasir Shah told the meeting that the removal of encroachments from along the KCR route had started and the most of the route had been cleared so that the fencing work could be started.

The chief minister said that the project had been approved for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and now the federal government would accord formal approval to it in a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council. 

In August, a meeting of the Pakistan-China joint group on the CPEC is scheduled to be held in Pakistan in which the project is expected to be cleared for funding.

Chief Minister Shah said that a Chinese bank in order to do its home work was in touch with the Sindh Transport Department to approve funds for the KCR project. He said he was keen to start work on the project in December 2017, and “I am sure we would make it”.

Once the project is cleared in the joint group meeting, international tenders for its construction will be invited to award the contract.

The chief minister said that he had worked hard to make the KCR a reality. — INP

In his budget speech in the Sindh Assembly on Monday, the chief minister had said that the rehabilitation of the Karachi Circular Railway had been included in the CPEC for $2.4 billion, News Desk adds. 

For 2016-17, 241 million rupees have been allocated for the construction of boundary fencing along the existing alignment of the KCR.


History and utility 

The service shut down in December 1999. The KCR was commissioned in 1964 and remained an effective mass transport system till 1984. Later, the operational efficiency kept deteriorating, resulting in the loss of passengers and eventual closure after 15 years.

The KCR has a 43.12 kilometers long track, and its jurisdiction is spread over 360 acres. When functional, it will have 24 stations, each 1.5 kilometres away from the other. Trains will be kicking off their journey from the city railway station till Nipa and one complete round will take 66 minutes. Each day, it will cater to 700,000 passengers.

Back in 2009, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed its interest in this project, which would have cost them almost $2,609.32 million, but years later their interest was overshadowed due to hurdles in the project mainly encroachments along the mainline.