KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday said that the ground-breaking ceremony of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) would be held in September 2017.
“This is the good news I am sharing with the people of Karachi,” said the chief minister while addressing a press conference to brief the media about his visit to China.
CM Sindh said the ongoing development works were the actual bone of contention under the Karachi Package. “Some people who used to claim to be the so-called owners of the city have gone insecure to see huge uplift works,” he said. He stated that the pace of on-going uplift works was not slow and assured to personally review progress and complete all projects as scheduled by end of June.
He said that he attended the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Conference in Beijing with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the presence of all the four chief ministers was lauded by Chinese President. The conference was attended by the heads of 28 countries.
He recalled that he had attended JCCI meeting in Beijing last December where three projects, KCR, Keti Bandar and Special Economic Zone were included under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The provincial government was told to complete the feasibility of KCR within three months.
CM Sindh said that he held a meeting with Chinese Transport Minister Mr Lixiao Peng and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) officials and briefed them about KCR and the progress made so far.
He met with Chinese EXIM Bank Vice President and urged him to clear and approve loan for KCR projects for which he nominated his general manager focal person for KCR.
He further said that metro projects of Peshawar and Quetta have also been included in CPEC, but they have not completed their feasibilities reports. Therefore, during the next two months all the feasibilities, including KCR would be submitted for further approval in the joint working meeting.
CM Sindh said that he along with Chief Minister Punjab Shabaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal had held a meeting with Chinese Minister for NRDC and discussed the matter of KCR.
The Chinese minister agreed to convene a meeting of joint working group to approve the Metro projects of Pehawar and Quetta and KCR of Karachi. “I offered them to host Joint working group meeting in Karachi for which he said that it would be decided shortly.
“We would perform ground breaking ceremony of KCR in September this year,” he announced and added that the encroachments along the route were being removed.
Talking about energy projects particularly Thar, the chief minister said that he also requested the EXIM banks Vice President to finance energy sector in Sindh for which he agreed to support.
He also said that the development of Special Economic Zone and infrastructure of Keti Bandar project have been started. He added that both the projects would bring new vistas of development and prosperity in the province.
Replying to a question regarding the strike of good transporters, he said that the court has issued order under which heavy vehicles entry in the city has been banned. He said that transport minister Syed Nasir Shah is holding talks to call off their strike, and the government was filing review petition in the court to resolve the issue of goods transporters.