Not possible to run old circular train: Sh Rashid

February 20, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh government and the Ministry of Railways have agreed to finalise the Frame Work Agreement to be signed by the federal government and the National Development and Reforms...

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KARACHI: The Sindh government and the Ministry of Railways have agreed to finalise the Frame Work Agreement to be signed by the federal government and the National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) of China within a month so that stalemated project of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) be revived. The decision was taken in a meeting held between Chief Minister Sye Murad Ali Shah and Minister of Railways Shaikh Rashid at the CM House here on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Adviser Law Murtaza Wahab, Chairman P&D M Waseem, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani and Secretary Transport Ghulam Abbas Detho. The railway minister was accompanied by Chairman Railways Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani, CEO PRFTC Zafar Zaman and DS Railways Nisar Memon.

The chief minister and the federal minister for railways agreed to revive the KCR at any cost by taking some drastic measures. During the discussion, it was established that there were 24 railway crossings in the Right of Way of KCR and their construction would also take time.

Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed asked the chief minister to contribute Rs40 billion for the revival of the KCR project, which the chief minister agreed and said before releasing the amount they would have to chalk out a detailed plan. Rasheed said the federal government would give Rs10 billion for the project. Again the chief minister agreed but said that the government would have to plan rehabilitation of the affected people by giving them compensation.

The chairman P&D said over 4,600 people are likely to be affected by the KCR project and the provincial government was working out a plan for their rehabilitation. The issue of clearing encroachments on a five km stretch was also discussed. Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahlwani said that he was ready to clear and sought the help of the railway police and DS railways. At this, Shaikh Rashid assured the commissioner that his police and other officers were at his disposal. The meeting decided to start markings for the KCR route so that necessary fencing could be carried out. The chief minister and the railway minister decided to constitute a committee to submit a proposal to start the KCR by the time the Chinese authorities approve its financial mechanism.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said the Sindh government has the intention to complete the project of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) at a cost of two billion USD.

Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, the Railways minister said that both the Sindh and the federal governments had agreed upon a framework project to build the KCR.

Rasheed said that old KCR service could not be revived and a new circular railway project has to be built, as 24 roads were built along the old KCR route. Due to that, 24 railway crossings could not be built to revive the old KCR service, the minister said. He said that they had no differences with Sindh government over the KCR as both the Railways and Sindh government would join forces to build this project. He said that they had developed a consensus with the Sindh government on five points to build the KCR. He said that good progress had been made on the KCR project in his meeting with the Sindh chief minister. The Railways Minister said that Karachi Urban Transport Corporation had been revived for the sake of KCR.

He said that KCR was a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project and “we have decided to arrange bridge financing for the project as it costs two billion USD.” The Railways minister announced on the occasion to end encroachments on the KCR’s land within one month in view of the directives of the apex judiciary. He said that the procedure for payment of compensation to the people to be relocated from the KCR’s land would be determined in his next meeting with the Sindh government. He said that different proposals were under consideration to resettle them. He said that 150 feet of land around the railway tracks were being vacated.

Sheikh Rasheed said he foresaw that the present federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would complete its constitutional term. He said that Opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan Peoples Party would do nothing this time (against the government). He said that chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) Maulana Fazlur Rehman would be arrested if he tries to stage a (protest) sit-in this time and this time around he would not get the (fair) treatment given to him in the past, he warned.

Responding to a question regarding PM's resignation, the Railways minister said that PM Imran Khan was not going anywhere as those who wanted to do protest were free to do so. He said that Nawaz Sharif would not come back while his daughter Maryam Nawaz would not be allowed to leave the country. He said that PM Imran Khan had admitted the mistake of his government related to wheat flour and sugar crises in the country. He said that Imran Khan would not spare those responsible for these crises.

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