Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has directed Pakistan Railways to complete all the formalities at the earliest and ensure necessary arrangements are made for the groundbreaking of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) infrastructure by September 2021.
While chairing a meeting to review the latest status of KCR and railways freight corridor projects on Wednesday, he said that simultaneous work on PPP components of the KCR would result in months of time saving and completion of the project. So, the railways should expedite consultation with P3A.
The minister was briefed on the KCR and told that the KCR scheme envisaged construction of a 43km-long world-class affordable mass transit system by using environment-friendly electric trains.
The railways secretary emphasised that the KCR project was on track as per the timelines given by the ministry.
Meeting participants also held discussion on the freight corridor project from Keamari/KPT to Pipri Marshalling Yard, which involved the construction/ dualisation/ upgrading of a 50km dedicated freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri and the development of an inland container depot/ Marshalling Yard at Pipri.
The meeting was briefed that the project was expected to facilitate 40% of the cargo meant to be transported upcountry. Furthermore, the plan has been submitted to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority for approval.
Umar gave directives that the corridor must be designed for optimising the outcome, and in addition to the financial cost, the destination time should be reduced as well.
Umar directed all the concerned officials to ensure the completion of projects within timelines, as such projects were crucial for the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2021.