ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired a meeting to review the latest status of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and Railways Freight Corridor projects here in Islamabad on Wednesday. Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Secretary Planning, Secretary Railways, CEO PPP Authority, and senior officials of both Ministries participated in the meeting.
The Minister was briefed on Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and informed that the KCR envisages construction of a 43-km long world-class affordable mass transit system using environment-friendly electric trains. Secretary Railway informed that the Karachi Circular Railway project is on track as per the timelines given by the Ministry.
Asad Umar directed Pakistan Railway to full fill all the codal formalities at the earliest and ensure to make all the necessary arrangements for the groundbreaking of KCR infrastructure by September 2021. He said that simultaneous work on PPP components of KCR will result in months of time saving and completion of the project. So, the Railway shall expedite the consultation with P3A.
While discussing Freight Corridor project from Keamari / KPT to Pipri Marshalling Yard which envisages construction/ dualization/ up-gradation of 50-km dedicated freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri and includes the development of an Inland Container Depot/ Marshalling Yard at Pipri. It was briefed that the Project is expected to facilitate 40% of the cargo meant to be transported upcountry. Further, the plan has been submitted to PPP Authority for its approval. Federal Minister Asad Umar directed that corridor must be designed to optimize the level-of-service outcome, and in addition to the financial costs, the destination time has to be reduced as well.
Asad Umar also directed all concerned officials to ensure the completion of the projects within the timelines, as these projects are crucial for the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Karachi.