Karachi: Millions of commuters in Karachi continue to suffer as the Pakistan Railways has yet to resume the repair of damaged tracks of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), the only rail-based urban public transport system of Pakistan.
The KCR a success story of public transport sector in Karachi was deliberately ignored, damaged and abandoned to benefit the runners of private buses and minibuses of Karachi commonly called transporter mafia. In a show of criminal negligence precious railway property of tracks, signal systems and railway stations of KCR were not properly guarded. The Pakistan Railways Police simply allowed scrape thieves to steal the precious assets. Moreover, builder mafia was also facilitated to erect illegal plazas over the KCR land. This is one of the most bizarre stories of corruption and negligence in Pakistan, particularly in the railway sector.
However, the present federal government looks serious to repair and run the KCR on commercial basis. There are many statements on the record of the federal railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. The railway experts and engineers say they could repair and revive the KCR without any foreign loan just in two months provided the government gives the nod. However, the spade work on repair of KCR is sadly still awaited.
It is a popular demand of the citizens as well as political parties of Karachi to revive the KCR on urgent basis to facilitate commuters and save them from excesses of the transporter mafia that presently enjoy a ruthless monopoly over the public transport sector of Karachi. The citizens expect that repair of the KCR track would be initiated on war footing basis as this is the matter of public interest and the citizens of Karachi expect some public good from the federal government to facilitate the commuters of Karachi, as the federal government has already done a wonderful job to facilitate the commuters of Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad in shape of metro bus systems.