KCR project: KUTC wants KWSB land at throw-away price

KARACHI: Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) wants to purchase the land of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) at throw-away price of Rs1 per square yard for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

However, KWSB is reluctant to sell its 1.629 acres of land to KUTC for KCR project because Sindh Board of Revenue (SBR) has described rate of one square yard land at Rs 34,500.

It is pertinent to mention here that the land was required by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build a station and other facilities for KCR.

According to a document available with PPI, a joint survey of the land was carried out by KWSB and KUTC for identification of land wherein some KWSB staff quarters are also located.

The KWSB agreed to provide the land and issued a letter of comfort on 06 February 2012 which stated that Rs 62,100,000 should be paid to KWSB as per land rate indicated as Rs 34,500 per square yard.

However, KUTC wanted pay nominal rate of Rs 1 per square yard as annual lease charges for 99 years. KUTC said that the rate of land was based on open commercial plot whereas the project is of social nature, therefore, nominal rate should be charged.

The document also stated that in return KUTC would bear the cost of construction of KWSB quarters that would be affected by this project.

Talking to PPI, Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of KWSB Technical, Najmi Alam Siddiqui, confirmed the figures and said that a summary stating both prices that were either demanded by KUTC or indicated by revenue department were sent to Secretary Local Government Javed Hanif.

He said that it was now the responsibility of the government to decide that at which rate they would sell out this land.

Meanwhile, all efforts to contact secretary local government at his office and over phone went in vain.

A source in the department told PPI that the matter was still pending with the secretary local government.

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