Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Karachi, despite holding immense significance, had unfortunately lacked civic amenities of a modern megapolis due to several issues in the past.
The premier was speaking on Monday after the groundbreaking of the Karachi Circular Railway project during a ceremony held at the Cantonment Railway Station.
“Every country across the world has one city that leads its prosperity and growth. For Pakistan, it’s Karachi,” Prime Minister Imran remarked.
“In the 1980s, when Karachi started taking off, chaos befell the city and the problems faced by it affected the entire country.”
He was all praise for his government for taking initiatives to develop the city, such as the Karachi Transformation Plan, which was introduced in 2020.
“We initiated the Karachi Transformation Plan, in collaboration with the Sindh government, to uplift the metropolis,” the premier said, adding that in order to resolve the issues faced by Karachi, both the Centre and the provincial government will have to work together.
“The federal government cannot resolve the issues on its own, therefore, it is imperative for the provincial government to cooperate with it.”
Prime Minister Imran spoke about the problems of transportation faced by the Karachiites and said that, unfortunately, this sector was neglected and investment remained insufficient.
He said that while big projects, like the KCR, often get stuck which incurs more cost.
“Since the KCR is a big project, the Sindh and the federal governments will have to push harder for its timely completion so that it could turn out to be a cost-effective project,” the premier added.
“The Karachi Circular Railway will touch every area of the city and reduce pressure from the roads. There’s the Green Line and other projects in the pipeline too because the city is growing at a massive pace.”
The prime minister was confident that the second problem of the city, water shortage, will soon be countered too.
Earlier, Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati had issued a statement regarding the KCR and had said that the project will be completed in three years against a cost of Rs207 billion.
The KCR’s 29-kilometre track will have 16 stations and 24 level crossings. Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) will lay the track for the KCR while automatic airconditioned coaches will be run on the track, said the statement.
THE PROJECT: The Karachi Circular Railway track will start from Drigh Road station, going through Gulistan-e-Jauhar and heading to Gulshan-e-Iqbal. From there it will turn towards Nazimabad going through Yaseenabad and Liaqatabad. The track then heads to Manghopir and SITE before going towards Baldia and through Lyari, Mereweather Tower, City Station to PIDC and Karachi Cantt.
The KCR would then run parallel to Sharae Faisal and go through Chanesar Goth, Shaheed-e-Millat, and Karsaz before completing a round trip at the Drigh Road station.
In the first phase, the infrastructure will be fixed and then the project will formally kick off in the second phase. The government will be spending Rs250 billion on the project, which is expected to be completed by 2023.
Each train will comprise a locomotive and four coaches and will accommodate 814 passengers. Global tenders will be invited for procurement of the trains.