karachi circular rail
Work has begun to revive the Karachi circular railway. Image Credit: APP

Karachi: Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the federal and Sindh governments are on the same page to revive the long-delayed Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) as the mass transit system for the provincial capital.

Ahmed was speaking at a press conference at one of the 23 stations, Shah Abdul Latif Station, on the proposed route of KCR within Karachi. The long-delayed revival of KCR is part of the newly unveiled Rs 1.1 trillion historical development package for Karachi for which both federal and Sindh governments have been contributing.

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The Railways minister said that work had been started to revive the KCR project. “This is my commitment to you that I will complete the KCR. There is no dispute with the Sindh government on the issue of KCR,” said Ahmed.

He said that the Sindh chief secretary and Karachi’s commissioner had been providing full cooperation to the Railways officials for the revival of the KCR.

He said that Railways officials had to act in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court to remove encroachments to clear the passage of the railway. “We are also lending full cooperation to the Sindh government in this regard,” said the Railways minister.

He said that the Pakistan Railways would spend Rs10.5 billion to reactivate KCR and Rs1.8 billion would be spent in the first stage. The Sindh government needs to build 24 bridges for the revival of the KCR’s route as the contract for the purpose had been given to the Frontier Works Organisation. He appealed to Sindh chief minister to arrange for the alternative accommodation of the people who had to vacate their houses to clear the track of the KCR.

The Railways minister said he would come to Karachi every 15 days to review progress.