KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday directed the Transport department to take all out efforts to float the international tender for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project so that it could be started on December 25, the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The chief minister while presiding over a meeting on KCR, which was also attend by top officers of Chinese firms, said that the project is most important and has been included into China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects due to their constant efforts.
“Now, I want to perform the ground breaking ceremony of the project in December 2017, therefore the plan should be made accordingly,” he said.
CM Sindh said that initial estimated cost of the KCR is around $2 billion, and the Sindh government would release mobilisation cost of the project so that it could be started in December 2017.
He said that he was keen to perform the ground-breaking ceremony of the KCR on 25 December 2017, the birthday of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
“I would appreciate if the groundbreaking ceremony of the project is arranged at Wazir Mansion- the residence of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he maintained.
Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah said that the project has been approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in May 2017, which is the clearing house for any provincial project and is now being taken to Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval.
CM Sindh directed Chairman Planning & Development Muhammad Waseem to expedite the paper work for placing the project in ECNEC, and invite international tenders for the project in October 2017.
Syed Nasir Shah said that there were some encroachments on the KCR Right of Way (ROW), which includes some factories located between Wazir Mansion and Manghopir releasing their affluent, and some cattle pens and dense bushes have also emerged causing serious problems in the survey work.
The chief minister while keeping in view the situation directed to constitute a Task Force to formulate an action plan and take immediate measures for removal of encroachments cropped up after 2013. It would also propose compensation package to the registered project affected people.
The Task Force would be formed under Commissioner Karachi with all deputy commissioners, Metropolitan Commissioner Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Director-General Karachi Development Authority( KDA), DG Sindh Mass Transit Cell (SMTC), Managing-Director Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC), MC of all DMCs and DIG Karachi
Secretary Transport Saeed Awan said that according to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) survey, the project-affected households come to 4653. He added that the railway land required for KCR project is 360 acres and the area under encroachment is around 67 acres.