Karachi Circular Railway

Nazim hopes for early revival of KCR
* ECNEC should approve $800 billion project to provide alternate to bus transport: Kamal

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

CITY Nazim Mustafa Kamal has expressed optimism that the National Economic Council (ECNEC) Executive Committee, in its forthcoming meeting, will give an approval to the much-awaited Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.
Talking to journalists at an informal meeting, he said that KCR will be initiated and completed with Japanese aid worth $ 800 million, in a bid to provide an alternate to bus transport for citizens.
“The Japanese team has already completed a study on KCR and will start work after an approval from ECNEC to utilize the funds provided by the Japan Bank,” he said. Kamal said that the KCR will become a major mode of transportation for citizens and, in the first phase, the existing infrastructure will be upgraded according to international standards.
“During the past three years, the city government has completed various roads, bridges, underpasses and now a total of 22 new overpasses and underpasses will be constructed for the KCR. Moreover, all stations will be upgraded with proper ticket booths, commercial centers and other facilities and will be connected with local bus routes,” he said.
In the first phase of the revival of KCR, the existing network from Karachi City to Nazimabad will be reconstructed and the second phase will see the revival of the network from Nazimabad to Drigh Road. In the third phase, it will be extended to the airport and other parts of the city such as Surjani, North Karachi, Gizri, Defense and Port Qasim.
The Pakistan Railways had introduced KCR in 1969, with more than 100 rail services to facilitate commuters but it was closed in 1999 when the transport mafia got involved. Later in 2004, the government revived the service from Landhi to Wazir Mansion station. Sources at the City District Government Karachi Transport and Communication Department told Daily Times that the KCR system covers major parts of the metropolis as it runs parallel to the main commercial areas and also along Shahrah-e-Faisal to Merewether Tower and I.I. Chundrigar Road.
“Most of the existing KRC infrastructure, from Drigh Road to Nazimabad, is occupied by encroachers but after the project is approved, a major clean up operation will be launched,” said the sources. Almost 45 percent of all employees in Karachi go to SITE, Landhi, Korangi, New Karachi, Federal B Industrial Area, Karachi Port or the central business district of Saddar.
Majority of the existing KCR intersects all the major arteries including Mauripur Road, M.T. Khan Road, M.A. Jinnah Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Abdullah Haroon Road, Chaudhry Khaliq-uz-Zaman Road, Daudpota Road, Korangi Road, Shaheed-i-Millat Road, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Rashid Minhas Road, University Road, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Allama Rashid Turabi Road, Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan (North Nazimabad), Manghopir Road, SITE and Hub River Road.
“After the construction of the first and second phase of the KCR, within the next three to four years, most of these arteries will be connected with a railway network and commuters will have the option to use any network to reach their destination in the shortest time period,” added the sources.
-Published in Daily Times | Sept 30, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on October 6, 2008.

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