ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan yesterday expressed its dismay over the slow progress on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and said that if need be then they would summon the prime minister and the Sindh chief minister regarding the matter.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed said this while hearing the suo moto notice related to the operation of KCR in the port city.

The bench also issued notices to Secretary Pakistan Railways and Chief Secretary Sindh for not complying with the apex court directions for making KCR operational within the timeline.

The court directed both of them to file reply why not the contempt of court proceeding be initiated against them for defying the court order. Director General Frontier Works Organization (FWO) ordered to be present on the next hearing and file report about the delay on constructing overhead bridges and underpasses on the route for smoothing running of KCR.

Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani, Secretary/Chairman Railways, informed the court that they have taken the images of the route of KRC with the help of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and wrote letters to the FWO.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed directed him to restore the railway line and start local train operations. The court observed that the secretary had assured the court that KCR would be operational within the timeline. He added, “This objective has not been achieved yet and the Railways is dragging its feet and not complying with the Supreme Court order.”

The Chief Justice said that the Sindh government has also not complied with the court directions of constructing the necessary structure and removing encroachment on the KCR route. The KCR has not started but presenting excuses, which are not tenable. This is deliberate defiance by the Secretary Railways and the Sindh Chief Secretary.

The apex court on September 24 had directed the Sindh government to remove encroachments along the route of KCR and rehabilitate the people, who would be displaced from these sites.

Later, the bench adjourned the matter for two weeks for further proceedings.