Federal, Sindh govts decide to complete KCR project during their tenure


KARACHI: The federal and Sindh governments have decided to complete the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) Project during their respective tenures. The Project would provide modern, rapid and low cost transportation facilities to at least 700,000 commuters per day.A meeting of Chief Minister (CM) Sindh Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Railway Khuwaja Saad Rafique was of the view that this project would connect several industries and commercial organisations within the limits of Karachi.Besides they discussed issues relating to KCR Project and to resolve other issues pertaining to Pakistan Railway (PR).It was decided to constitute 8 members committee headed by Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui with secretary Transport, secretary Finance, managing director KCR, project director KCR, administrator Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, additional IG Police Sindh and divisional superintendent PR as member to negotiate with the encroachers occupying KCR tracks, prepare workable evacuation and resettlement plan for these affectee and submit their recommendations to the federal and Sindh government by May 20, 2014 so that standard of operation (SOP) of the plan could be initiated.About concerns of Saad Rafique regarding sabotage activities to target PR tracks, Qiam Ali Shah directed the Sindh Police to launch joint patrolling with Railway force at the sensitive parts of railway tracks.He constituted the committee headed by additional Inspector General of Sindh Police to work out and submit proposals for evolving effective mechanism on permanent basis.About unmanned railway crossings in Sindh, the CM informed the meeting as many as 44 unmanned railway crossing have been identified and Sindh government has allocated Rs 100 million for the construction of ‘Railway Phattaks’ at these crossings to avoid human losses.   He said parameters of progress by Sindh government for implementation on this project could be gauged from its act and the fact is 283 acres of illegally occupied land at Juma Goth has been evacuated by the administration.Saad Rafique said all formalities regarding implementation on KCR have been carried out, only the removal of the encroachment on the track land remained.This matter has been discussed with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and it was decided to resolve this issue immediately without waiting for lenders and wasting time. Ministry was also working to provide maximum rail facilities to the people and to protect the land and other assets of PR.Talking to Daily Times, Sindh Minister for Transport Mumtaz Jakhrani said eight-member committee would survey the area and negotiate the encroachers on the route. The committee would complete its work within a month. The proposal is to compensate the encroachers up to Rs 2 million per house depending to the value of particular house.Formulae regarding the rate for the compulsion between federal and provincial governments have yet to be decided.It is likely federal government is to pay 60 percent while Sindh government would pay the remaining amount, said Jakhrani. A proposal was underway to hire local people to safeguard the railway line and Saad Rafiq is working on this, he added.At initial stages I can only share with you that minimum salary proposal for such people is Rs 17,000, he told Daily Times.Once everything would be finalised and the survey is completed, it is estimated around 4,500 families would be sufferers. We wanted to provide clearcut route to the company which would be involved in construction in the post-bidding scenario, said Sindh Transport minister. Replying to a question, Jakhrani said he had meeting with transporters on the direction of CM convincing them to reduce fares after petroleum prices were down.During meeting representatives of public transporters said they were following the rate list since 2011-12. At that time the rate of diesel was around Rs 93 per liter. At the moment the rates of High Speed Diesel is around Rs 113/liter, told minister. Both the governments decided to keep financial provision in the budget 2014-15 and to complete this project within their present tenure of their government.The route of KCR Project would be 43.12 kilometers (km) includes 23.8 km elevated and 3.7 km would be in tunnel (way) and Karachi Urban Transport Company would execute it.The system would be facilitated with un-interrupted power supply, water supply, electronic traction infrastructure, modernised signalling/telecommunication system, availability of utility kiosks, banks, post offices, book shops, libraries, reading room, food cafe, cultural centres, parking spaces at its each stations and will be completed with its estimated cost of $2.6 billion of which 90 percent has been offered by Japan International Corporation Agency as soft loans while 10 percent will be borne by federal and provincial government as per their share.

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