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KARACHI: With the clearance of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) route from encroachment, the project is ready to take off by the mid of December when its tender process will be completed for award of contract, said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday.

He was talking to Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong who called on him here at CM House. The consul general of China in Karachi and principal secretary to the chief minister were also present.

Highlighting the importance of the projects approved within the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the chief minister said the KCR had reached its implementation stage. The three major projects — KCR, Keti Bandar and Dhabeji special economic project zone — would play a vital role in boosting the economy of Pakistan in general and of Sindh in particular.

Mr Shah expressed his gratitude to the Chinese ambassador for the support and cooperation for the projects. He said the KCR route had been cleared and Pakistan Railways was on board for acquiring the 360-acre land for right of way (RoW) for the circular railway.

“The Keti Bandar project is being processed for preparing its feasibility while land has been allocated for China-Pakistan Special Economic Zone at Dhabeji. “Once the feasibility and other required approvals of the Keti Bandar and Special Economic Zone got through, the projects will be presented at the next Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting,” he added.

Feasibility report sent to the Chinese ministry of transport through federal govt

The ambassador told the chief minister that at present 20,000 Pakistanis, students and others, were living in China. “This kind of mutual understanding for development and prosperity would further strengthen with the completion of the CPEC projects,” said the chief minister.

He added that he had personally witnessed that the Thari workers, engaged in coal mining project, and Chinese easily communicating with each other. “This shows that Tharis are also learning Chinese.”

The Sindh government through the federal government had already provided a feasibility report of the KCR to the Chinese Ministry of Transport while tender documents had been prepared and hopefully its contract would be awarded by the second week of December paving the way to lay the foundation stone of the KCR at Wazir Mansion on December 25 — the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Mr Shah said that KCR, Keti Bandar and establishment of special economic zone at Dhabeji would usher in new vistas of development and prosperity in the province.

Aisha Bawany College

While presiding over a meeting of the education department, the chief minister expressed his satisfaction on the resumption of classes at Aisha Bawany College.

“It was the Sindh government’s commitment and support of students, parents, teachers and the civil society that education activities returned to Aisha Bawany College otherwise it might have been turned into a marriage hall,” he said.

Mr Shah directed the education secretary (colleges and schools) to pay special focus on improving education standard. “This would happen when the teachers would take classes properly, check copies, give homework to students and get personally involved in the system,” he said, adding that nothing would improve otherwise.

He issued the directives to all the government departments, particularly the education, health and local government, to properly follow their cases in courts. “I would take disciplinary action if any department loses legal battle in courts,” he warned.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2017