SC tells Sindh govt, PR to respect deadline for circular railway completion

Published September 25, 2020
The Supreme Court had proposed in February that work on revival of the KCR commence within six months.
— Photo courtesy Supreme Court website/File
The Supreme Court had proposed in February that work on revival of the KCR commence within six months. — Photo courtesy Supreme Court website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court cautioned the Sindh government as well as the Pakistan Railways on Thursday not to exceed the timeline prescribed by it for revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

When a three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, took up a suo motu case relating to colossal losses incurred by Pakistan Railways (PR), it was informed that the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) had proposed the construction of underpasses and overhead bridges for smooth running of trains on KCR route.

Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman, Railways Secretary Habibur Rehman Gilani as well as some officials of the Sindh government attended the hearing.

The Supreme Court had proposed in February that work on revival of the KCR commence within six months.

CJP rejects report showing encroachments on both sides of track

The court was informed that survey for the construction of 11 underpasses had been completed by the FWO while the remaining 13 would be completed soon.

Planning had been done while designing work was in progress, the court was informed. Contract for construction of these underpasses will be awarded soon after the FWO comes out with a design and an estimate of the construction cost.

The court was asked to extend the deadline by six weeks for making the Karachi Circular Railway functional.

During the hearing, the railways secretary assured the court that no impediment had been created by the Sindh government and work was in progress day and night to start running trains on the route within the timeline agreed upon.

About encroachments, the court was informed that the Sindh government had taken a number of steps while the railways secretary said most of the encroachments had been removed and the rest would be removed soon.

The court ordered the Sindh government to remove the remaining encroachments and make sure that no tracks were encroached upon in future.

The Sindh government must make arrangements for rehabilitation of the people evicted during removal of encroachments, the Supreme Court said.

Earlier during the hearing, the chief justice rejected a report that showed encroachments in the shape of buildings on both sides of the track.

The chief justice wondered whether the PR bosses were not concerned about the state lands on which encroachments had been made and asked the railways secretary to visit the site and examine the situation on the ground himself.

The railway department should have approached the court after clearing the encroachment, the chief justice remarked.

The KCR revival project includes transformation of the old Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) into a mass transit system. The total length of the railway track is expected to be 50km.

Opened in 1964, the route of the old KCR started from Drigh Road and ended in downtown Karachi. It ceased operations in 1999 after suffering huge losses for years.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2020

Opinion

A decade of change & stagnation
Updated 20 Sep 2021

A decade of change & stagnation

Over a decade, three more women out of 100 aged between 19 and 39 have acquired college degrees, compared to only two more men.
All about life
Updated 20 Sep 2021

All about life

There is no shortage of issues on which the Single National Curriculum has stirred controversy.
‘Honourable men’
20 Sep 2021

‘Honourable men’

Is it ambition to support our athletes only after they bring us glory?
Concerns of proxy wars
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Concerns of proxy wars

A lobby in the US favours a plan for proxy warfare so that America can sustain its global influence.

Editorial

20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...
Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...