KARACHI: As Pakistan will have a meeting with China next month on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Caretaker Chief Minister Retired Justice Maqbool Baqar hopes to get approval for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) as one of the schemes for CPEC.
Interim CM Sindh has issued directives to the transport department to prepare a comprehensive presentation of the KCR and remove all points of congestion. Transport Secretary Asad Zamin, in his briefing on the progress of transport projects, told CM that the KCR project would cost around $2 billion.
KCR will connect Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Nazimabad and North Nazimabad with Sharea Faisal, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Tower and SITE industrial area. Hence all the densely residential areas will be connected with the main business hubs of Karachi.
The CM was also informed about land issues with the railway authorities as a 13km section of Pakistan Railway main line will come in between the planning. Maqbool Baqar has asked the chief secretary to remove all the bottlenecks by meeting the railway ministry.
CM Sindh also took briefings on other transport projects. The authorities said that BRT Green and Orange lines are functional, and Peoples Bus Service was operational in Larkana, Sukkur Hyderabad and Karachi. The briefing added that women-only bus services & electric buses were also launched. The federal government planned to hand over BRT Green Line to the Sindh government by 2024.
Justice Baqar has urged the authorities to talk to the federal government on the issue of extending the BRT Green Line to Tower from Numaish. The CM asked the transport department to increase the Orange Line track to 10-15km.
Regarding prolonged traffic jams on University Road due to Red Line construction work, the CM ordered the transport department to take necessary action and improve the flow of traffic. He also directed traffic police to improve road management.