KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Railway Khuwaja Saad Rafique have expressed determination to revive the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) Project within the tenure of sitting provincial and federal governments in order to provide modern, rapid and low cost transportation facilities daily to at least 0.7 million commuters of Karachi.
Jointly presiding over a meeting at CM House regarding implementation on the KCR Project and to resolve other issues pertaining to Pakistan Railway, they said that the project would connect several industries and commercial areas within the limits of Metropolis.
The meeting also constituted an eight-member committee headed by Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui to negotiate with the encroachers occupying KCR tracks and prepare workable evacuation and resettlement plan for these affectee.
The committee includes Secretary Transport, Secretary Finance, Managing Director KCR, Planning Director KCR, Administrator KMC, Additional IG Police Sindh and Deputy Superintendent of Railway.
It would submit its recommendations to the Federal and Sindh Government by May 20, 2014 so that standard of operation (SOP) of the plan could be initiated.
The Sindh Minister for Transport Mumtaz Jakhrani, Sindh Minister for Information & Local Government Sharjeel Enam Memon, Additional Chief Secretary Planning & Development Wasim Ahmed, Senior Member Board of Revenue Alamuddin Bullo, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddique, Secretary Transport Taha Farooqi, Secretary Works & Services Kazi Shahid Pervaiz, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Additional IG Sindh Police, MD and PD KCR Project and other officers from land department and Pakistan Railway attended the meeting.
The meeting decided alternate option for resettlement of the affectees and getting the occupied railway track lands evacuated in order to expedite the project.
The Federal Government and Sindh Government also expressed their willingness to invest in the rehabilitation plan, instead of looking for lenders and wasting time and decided to keep financial provision in the next budget 2014-15 and to complete this project within present government tenure.
Responding the concerns shown by the Federal Minister about sabotage activities to target Pakistan Railway tracks, the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah directed the Sindh Police to launch joint patrolling with Railway Force at the sensitive parts of railway tracks.
He also constituted a committee headed by Additional Inspector General of Sindh Police to work out and submit proposals for evolving effective mechanism in this regard on permanent basis.
Responding to another railway issue of unmanned railway crossings in Sindh, the Chief Minister Sindh informed the meeting that as many as 44 unmanned railway crossing have been indentified and Sindh Government has allocated Rs. 100 million for the construction of gates at these railway crossings to avoid the human losses.
The Sindh government would also provide two magistrates to the Pakistan Railway each to work at Hyderabad and Sukkur railway station in order to ensure removal of encroachments on the railway lands and other properties.
The meeting also decided to revive the old historical glories of the Cantt Station Karachi and railway stadium at I.I. Chundrigar Road Karachi to beautify the city and facilitate its residents.
The Chief Minister Sindh assured full administrative support to the Pakistan Railways in implementation of its projects.
Addressing the meeting the Chief Minister Sindh said that his Government was e interested in the implementation on the KCR Project.
He said that 283 acres of illegally occupied land was vacated from encroachers at Jumma Goth by Sindh Government for the resettlement of the KCR affectees and similarly, KCR track lands would also be got evacuated.