KARACHI: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that Pakistan Railways will follow Supreme Court’s orders regarding revival of the Karachi Circular Railways (KCR).
He was addressing a brief press conference at the Shah Abdul Latif station in the SITE area here on Sunday morning.
There was a bit of confusion as the media was told to expect the federal minister reaching them after inspecting the tracks in a trolley from the City Station to the Shah Abdul Latif station. Then they were informed that he had changed his mind and would now be holding a press conference at his camp office on Adam Road at 1pm. And when the journalists, annoyed over having been called so early in the morning, were leaving for the SITE area, they were asked to come back and wait as Mr Sheikh would be joining them shortly.
Dressed in a crisp white shalwar kameez and black waistcoat with a bright red handkerchief peeping out of his breast pocket, the federal minister was accompanied by the CEO and senior general manager of the Pakistan Railways, Lahore, Nisar Ahmed Memon; divisional superintendent at Karachi Arshad Salam Khattak and KCR project director Ameer Mohammad Daudpota.
Pledges to share ‘finalised’ map with media today
Sheikh Rashid said that he was unwell and not in the mood to speak much. He said that he would speak at length at a longer press conference at his camp office the following day. But for now, he only wanted to say that the KCR project was now on a fast track.
“I have visited Nazimabad, Gulbai, Gillani and Machhar Colony railway stations just now and am happy to report that things are moving at a good pace. The KCR is a Rs10.5 billion project of which Rs1.8 billion will be spent in the first phase,” he said.
“The Sindh government is also with us and it has taken the responsibility of constructing 24 overhead bridges, level crossings, etc and they have also awarded tenders for all this to the Frontier Works Organisation,” he revealed.
He further said that preparation of KCR coaches in Islamabad was also under way and a model coach would soon be displayed at the Cantonment station in Karachi.
“I will myself also come to Karachi every 15 days to supervise the work. We hope to make it happen very soon,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the clearing of the area along the KCR tracks, he said that 12km had already been cleared and they were working on the remaining 30km now.
He also said that he was in liaison with the Sindh government regarding the KCR map. “I will share with the media the finalised map on Monday,” he said.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2020