After months of delays and false promises, 14km of the 55km Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is finally set to become operational starting November 19. Considering that the government mandated restoration of this project began in 2017, progress is clearly quite slow. A lax approach by authorities is evident from the fact that the rest of the project is at a developmental standstill –little to nothing is being done. Why that is so remains to be clarified. It is vital that a more proactive approach is taken towards the construction of this transit system not only for the aid of the people but Pakistan as a whole as well.

We may be celebrating the fact that, if nothing else, some headway has been achieved in regards to KCR. However, we must not get distracted from the fact that preparations for the remainder of the project haven’t been made. Thus, it is unlikely that its construction will be completed in the near future. It would seem that promises for a fully functioning KCR by 2022 may also be absurdly optimistic if revival of operations is being sought lackadaisically.

There are a few questions that also need clarification. The government has ambitious plans for the KCR to be run on electricity. Given that electricity provision is a major crisis in Pakistan, the provision of a steady supply of electricity for the railways seems questionable. How is the government aiming to tackle this conundrum is a concern that needs to be answered as well.

We can no longer condone incompetency, delays and uncertainty in regards to Pakistan’s development, especially considering that we are making giant positive leaps in all other aspects. Surely, the benefits of such developmental programmes are not lost upon the authorities and a new attitude will be adopted to honour commitments made to the masses.