KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has on Tuesday ordered the removal of encroachments and installation of barbed wire fences along the route of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
The chief minister presiding over a meeting on KCR and other issues of railways was informed that eight kilometres out of the 48-kilometre KCR are under encroachment.
“The Sindh government along with Pakistan Railways have already conducted a survey and have identified the encroachments,” said Secretary Transport Taha Farooqui.
Sindh Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Shah said that there were 2600 small installations and 4500 houses on the KCR route while some people had even began constructing new houses.
CM Murad said that it was totally unacceptable and directed Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon to get the encroachment removed soon and start installing fences along the route.
The minister apprised him that Rs. 45 million has been approved for conducting feasibility of KCR and the work was in progress. CM directed to expedite the completion of the feasibility report so it could be submitted for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
General Manager Railways Javed Anwar informed the chief minister that two committees have been formed on the handing over the administration of the Karachi Urban Transport Authority (KUTA) and the possession of the KCR track to the authority.
The committees would meet next week to take final decisions on all the requirements. CM Murad said he was looking forward anxiously as the prime minister had assured the sovereign guarantee of KCR, and it was imperative to get the project formally included in CPEC.
CM Murad also directed to chief secretary to instruct deputy commissioners to get lands vacated of the railways encroached in Sukkur and Larkana. He said that those who had illegally occupied lands along the railway tracks must be evicted immediately and losses can be avoided in case of any incident.
The meeting was informed that some people have managed to develop fraudulent documents over ownership of railways land in Sukkur and Karachi.
CM tasked the chief secretary to constitute a high-level committee to inquire about the fraud and get the ownership cancelled if found illegal. He assured the railways of cooperation and support to project government lands across the province.