ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Railways (PR) will resume operations on the first section of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), from Pipri to the City Station, today (Thursday).

It was announced by Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad at a press conference held here on Wednesday.

Around 15 coaches would be leaving Karachi’s City Station at 1100 hours on the 42 kilometer long track of KCR, he added. The minister said all the coaches had been manufactured at Rawalpindi’s carriage factory, adding not a single item was imported during the two-and-a-half-year of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The section between City Station and Orangi Station was around 14 kilometers long, and trains would start plying on the route in the second phase, he said. The federal minister claimed that KCR, which would be completed in maximum two years time period, would have the facilities better than those available in the Orange Line Train in Lahore. Sheikh Rashid said the Sindh government had built underpasses and overhead bridges over 40-km long stretch of the track for ensuring uninterrupted traffic flow in the city.

“The federal government assures its full cooperation to the Sindh government in this regard and that a modern transport system would be introduced in the city,” he added.

He further said this transport system would be powered by electricity and would be fully fenced while trains would run at a speed of 80 km per hour.

“Pakistan Railways has laid the track in eight months time besides restoring another 14-km stretch to its original position,” the minister informed. Responding to a question, the minister said elections held in Gilgit-Baltistan were the most transparent.

He said that the successful and peaceful completion of elections was a triumph for democracy, adding that PTI would form a government in the region with a two-third majority.

Sheikh Rashid said that opponents destroyed their political career by confronting the national institutions. “The government is working to make the Senate elections more transparent,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to hold elections for the upper house of parliament through ‘show of hands’, and not by secret ballot, to eliminate ‘vote trading’.