Karachi     -   Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) revival project was at “fast track” and would be revived soon as per the directives of apex court.

This he said while talking to media here at Shah Abdul Latif station of KCR track on Sunday.

He added that all the encroachments along the railways lines would be completely eliminated.

“Pakistan Railways is all set to spend Rs. 10.5 billion on the KCR rehabilitation project whereas the responsibility of constructing 24 overhead bridges lies over the shoulders of provincial government,” remarked the railways minister while highlighting the complete liaison between Pakistan Railways and Sindh government on the historic project’s revival.

He stated, “There is no dispute between the Sindh and federal government and both are on the same page regarding the Karachi Circular Railway.”

He said the Sindh government has awarded a contract to the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to build necessary infrastructure like underpasses and overhead bridges at the level crossings.

He further said that preparation of KCR coaches was in full swing in Islamabad and a model coach would soon be displayed at Cantonment station Karachi.

The minister visited Gillani, Nazimabad, Gulbai and Shah Abdul Latif stations along the KCR track and enquired the progress of his department on the rehabilitation project.

He said, “I will visit Karachi after every 15 days to monitor the work on the KCR project.”

He was accompanied by CEO/Sr. GM Nisar Ahmad Memon, DS Karachi Arshad Salam Khattak and PD KCR Ameer Mohammad Daudpota.

A bench of Supreme Court last Thursday heard case regarding the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

The court ordered Pakistan Railways to get clear the land along the railway track.

In February, the court had directed the Pakistan Railways to revive and operate the KCR within six months and asked the provincial government to build necessary infrastructure.

During last month’s hearing, the railways secretary had informed the court that the KCR track had “almost” been cleared of encroachments.

At this, the Chief Justice had regretted that the time given by the court was over, but the KCR had not yet been revived.

The KCR was commissioned in 1964 originally to help employees of the Pakistan Railways travel between their jobs. The service became a full circle of 44km in 1970 and connected Karachi’s four main work areas: the port, the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate (SITE), the city’s central commercial areas such as Saddar and the Landhi Industrial Area. The KCR remained the public transport of choice for the people of Karachi till 1984 when the number of its trains was reduced.