Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday disclosed plans for new development projects for Karachi in the upcoming fiscal year.

Projects include new underpasses, widened roads and new markets.

The province's chief executive was presiding over a meeting attended by various members of the provincial government.

Speaking at a press conference later in the day, the chief minister also signaled the launch of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) by September 2017.

On-going and preconceived projects

"We are currently making an underpass at Submarine Chowk and next year, to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, it is important that there is another underpass at Sunset Boulevard," said CM Murad.

Other projects ear-marked under the new fiscal year's budget include widening of Tipu Sultan road, setting up of a new market in the Lee market area, work on the Cantt station road, a road linking Malir 15 with Bakra Piri road and up-gradation of stadium road, Murad revealed.

The chief minister also expressed his desire to construct a fly over which would make Tariq road, Tipu Sultan road and Khalid Bin Waleed road signal-free.

Karachi Circular Railway to launch in September 2017

“This is the good news I am sharing with the people of Karachi,” Murad said, announcing plans to launch the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) by September 2017.

He said that he, on the invitation of the prime minister, attended the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Conference in Beijing and the presence of all four chief ministers with the prime minister was lauded by the Chinese president.

Plans to launch the KCR first came under discussion during a meeting held in Beijing in December 2016. In the meeting, three projects; KCR, Keti Bandr and special economic zone were included in the ambit of CPEC.

“We had completed KCR's feasibility well in time and also had it approved from the Central Development Working Party (CDWP),” he said.

Explore: Encroachments major obstacle to KCR revival

However, a feasibility report will be submitted again, along with feasibility reports of Metro Peshawar and Quetta.

He said that during his visit to China he held a meeting with Chinese Transport Minister Lixiao Peng and briefed them about KCR and the progress made so far.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he also met with Chinese Exim bank vice president and urged him to clear and approve a loan for KCR projects for which he nominated his general manager as the focal person for KCR.

Explore: Chinese bank to provide Rs162bn loan for Orange Line

“We would have the ground breaking ceremony of KCR in September this year,” he announced and added that the encroachments along the KCR route were being removed.

This, however, would be the second major effort to revive KCR in the recent past.

In 2009, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council decided to revive the Karachi Circular Railway as a modern commuter system at a cost of Rs128.5 billion.

The chief minister also said that the development of a special economic zone and development of infrastructure of Keti Bandr project have been started. He added that both the projects would bring in new vistas of development and prosperity in the province.

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