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ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) cleared the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) as a Modern Urban Railway project at a cost of Rs273.1 billion, while referring it to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for final approval.

The CDWP met with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Jahanzeb Khan in the chair at P-Block Secretariat on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by the officials of Railways, representatives of provincial governments and other relevant stakeholders.

The CDWP also approved two development projects at the cost of Rs7.646 billion relating to the health sector.

Secretary Railway, while briefing the Committee apprised that under the project, the 43-kilometer dual track Urban Rail Mass Transit System will be constructed in a period of three years on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

KCR Project: P3A Board approves proposal/transaction structure

The main objective of the project is to provide reliable, safe and eco-friendly public transport to the metropolitan city of Karachi.

He informed that the project is expected to serve a daily 457,000 passengers, which is expected to soar to one million a day by the end of 33-year concession period. It will deploy use of electric train and will be operational round the week. Under the plan, 30 stations would be constructed along the corridor covering the most densely-populated areas of Karachi.

As per the route alignment, the KCR commences from the existing Karachi city station, moves along the main line of PR to Drigh Road Station. It further goes across Shahrah-e- Faisal and enters into Gulistan-e-Johar, and Gulshan-e- Iqbal. Furthermore, it passes through the older residential areas of North Nazimabad, Nazimabad leading to SITE area, and further to the Port, before reaching back to the Karachi city station. The project is a part of overall scheme for improvement of transport infrastructure including road network, provision of Public Transport- Mass Transit facilities and traffic management in Karachi, the largest metropolis.

The development of the KCR as modern Urban Mass Transit System will add to the existing public transport facilities in Karachi, which have fallen short to meet the incremental demand over the last few decades due to non-availability of modern mass transit facilities and decline in supply of large buses, while the city continues to expand.

During the meeting, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission noted that the implementation of the project is a challenge. “We need to invest in Railway as Federal Government is committed to support of so such public interest projects,” he added.

The committee also approved Gujranwala Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (Phase-II) with revised cost of Rs3.280 billion and project of Social Health Protection Initiatives, executed by the KP government worth Rs3.366 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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