PM to perform KCR groundbreaking today: governor

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Karachi today (Monday) to perform the groundbreaking of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

Talking to the media persons on Sunday, Imran Ismail said a ceremony will be held at Cantonment Railway Station in this regard. He said that the Rs250 billion mega project will be completed in three years, adding that 16 stations would be built along the 43 kilometres long track.

The governor said that Green Line Bus Service will also be operationalised next month and the K-4 water supply project will be completed by the end of 2023. The premier during his day-long visit to the port city will also meet several party leaders and lawmakers.

He will be briefed over the ongoing development projects in Sindh, and would also meet with the religious scholars representing different schools of thought.

The prime minister will be accompanied by Railways Minister Azam Swati and other federal ministers. All arrangements in this regard have been finalised and the ceremony will be held at a newly constructed guest house of the Cantonment Railway Station.

Due to security reasons, platform No 7 and 8 have been closed for the general public while strict security measures have been put in place at the railway station.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) recently approved a summary regarding the construction of infrastructure for the elimination of level crossings for the loop section of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). The project envisages the construction of flyovers and underpasses along the route of KCR for the elimination of 22-level crossings.

The rationalised cost of the project is Rs20.71 billion on a cost-sharing basis. The project will facilitate the free movement of the KCR train.

Last month, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, while chairing a meeting to review the latest status of KCR and railways freight corridor projects, said that simultaneous work on PPP components of the KCR would result in months of time saving and completion of the project. So, the railways should expedite consultation with P3A.

The meeting was briefed that the project was expected to facilitate 40 percent of the cargo meant to be transported upcountry. Furthermore, the plan has been submitted to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority for approval.

Umar gave directives that the corridor must be designed for optimising the outcome, and in addition to the financial cost, the destination time should be reduced as well. The planning minister also directed all the concerned officials to ensure the completion of projects within timelines, as such projects were crucial for the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Karachi.

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