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Railway project to kick-start in Sindh

Would be launched by September this year under the CPEC plan

Gulf News

Karachi: Chief minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the much-awaited Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project would be launched by September under the aegis of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to cater to the major transportation needs of the city.

Shah, who among others flanked with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his three-day visit to Beijing to take part in an international summit on China’s One Belt One Road project, told media on his return that he took the opportunity to discuss the KCR and other infrastructure projects on the sidelines of the conference.

For the multibillion rupees KCR project, the federal government had already approved 27.6 billion rupees (Dh967 million) under its Central Development Working Party (CDWP) early this month.

The chief minister has also ordered demolition of encroachment on the KCR track which was left abandoned in 1980s and the facility lied unutilised under red tapism ever since.

The civil administration had already started removing 7,650 illegal structures built on the 67 acres (27 hectares) of KCR land of its total 360-acre (145-hectare) area.

Shah said that he proposed three mega projects for the province and all the three projects were approved in the Joint Coordination Committee of the CEPC. Besides the KCR, development of Keti Bandar beach and Dhabeji Industrial zone projects were also approved.

He said that the projects were discussed with the Chinese minister for development and planning in presence of Prime Minister Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, finance minister Ishaq Dar and the chief minister of the Punjab province.

Shah said that they apprised the Chinese minister of the feasibility of the project that are ready to be executed, Expressing his gratitude, Shah appreciated the Prime Minister, the finance minister and the Punjab chief minister for their support to his proposed projects during the meeting with the Chinese delegation.

The chief minister said that now all was set to launch the project work in September and a ground-breaking ceremony would be held in the month.

Meanwhile, Shah also held a meeting today with the country director of the World Bank discussing various development projects in the province. He requested Patchamuthu Illangovan, the World Bank’s country manager to expedite its funding to the development projects of the province. Illangovan approved the chief minister’s proposal to fund the solar panel along the 44-kilomtere KCR track.

Both the officials also discussed the installation of solar stations to overcome the energy crisis in the province.

Shah also urged the country director of speeding up the banks assistance for the rehabilitation of the ageing Sukkur Barrage that was built in the English colonial time on the River Indus. The World Bank representative assured Shah that his organisation would help hire experts and independent engineers for the restoration and rehabilitation work of the Barrage, a key water distributor for irrigation purpose in the province.