ECNEC approves Rs20.7b KCR project

ISLAMABAD – The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Friday has approved Rs20.7 billion infrastructure project for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr Shaukat Tarin, presided over the meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). The ECNEC considered and approved a summary presented by the Planning Commission regarding construction of infrastructure for elimination of level crossings for the loop section of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). The project will be sponsored and executed by the Ministry of Railways, Government of Pakistan and will be located in Karachi. The project envisages construction of flyovers/underpasses along the route of KCR for elimination of 22-level crossings. The rationalised cost of the project is Rs20,715.368 million on cost sharing basis. The project will facilitate the free movement of the KCR train.

“ECNEC just approved the Rs20.7 billion infrastructure project for Karachi Circular Railway (KCR),” said Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Twitter soon after the ECNEC meeting. He further said that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan will be the chief guest at the ground breaking ceremony for the project in Karachi next week.

The KCR envisages the construction of a 43-km long world-class affordable mass transit system using environment-friendly electric trains. Over 450,000 passengers will be able to benefit from it on a daily basis. Around 55 kilometres long freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri would be built along with the main track.  According to the details, the KCR project will be completed in three phases. The length of the KCR project was 43.13km, including 14.95km on the ground and 28.18km elevated. It would have 24 stations and its per-day ridership would be around 550,000.

The second phase will expand operations to a seven-kilometer track running from Orangi Station to Gilani Station, while the third will see trains running over a nine-kilometer stretch between Gilani Station and Drigh Colony. The second phase of KCR will cost Rs8.70 billion, whereas, the third phase would be completed under a public-private partnership.

The ECNEC also approved a recommendation put forth by the Planning Commission that CDWP will be authorised to consider the projects where ECNEC gives decision to approve the project (in question) with the direction of rationalisation of cost. If the rationalisation exercise results in downward revision in cost, such projects will be accorded approval by the CDWP and status report shall be submitted for perusal of the chairman ECNEC. In case of upward cost rationalisation/revision, the project shall be re-submitted before ECNEC for consideration/approval.

Among others, federal minister for planning Asad Umar, deputy chairman planning, federal secretaries, representatives of provincial governments and other senior officers participated in the meeting. Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar joined through a video link.



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