KARACHI: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed has said that the work on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project to begin soon.
While visiting the site to review the clearance work along the railway track today, Rasheed said that the federal and Sindh governments jointly work to complete the Karachi Circular Railway project.
Earlier, the court has ordered Pakistan Railways to get clear the land along the railway track, he said adding that resettlement of the affected people will be the responsibility of the Sindh government.
The Railways will enforce the supreme court order in its spirit, he said. “I will visit Karachi every fortnight as the work of the KCR going to begin soon,” he added.
Rasheed said that over Rs10 billion has been spent on the project. Encroachments are being identified to resolve the issue as early as possible, he added.
Sheikh Rashid said that the provincial government will be requested to provide alternative places for those getting affected by the anti-encroachment operation. In the phase-I of the clearance work, the track has been cleared from City to Shah Abdul Latif Station.
“From overall 30 kilometers track, clearance work has been completed on 12 KM,” the railway’s minister said. “Estimated cost of the work has been 10.5 billion rupees, while 1.8 billion will be spent over the first phase of the work,” he said.
He said his department has been in contact with the provincial government and has no dispute over the KCR project with the government.
He said the Sindh government has awarded a contract to the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to build necessary infrastructures like underpasses and overhead bridges at the level crossings.
A bench of the Supreme Court last Thursday heard a case regarding the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
In February, the court had directed the Pakistan Railways to revive and operate the KCR within six months and asked the provincial government to build the necessary infrastructure.
During last month’s hearing, the railway’s secretary had informed the court that the KCR track had “almost” been cleared of encroachments.
At this, the chief justice had regretted that the time given by the court was over, but the KCR had not yet been revived.
The court had directed the city commissioners to evacuate the occupied land and ordered to demolish all the buildings, housing societies and petrol pumps illegally constructed on railways land.