Sindh moves to take over KUTC for revival of KCR

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KARACHI: The Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC) — a body formed after 2020 devastating rains in which top civil and military officials take up matters pertaining to the city’s development — approved the takeover of the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) by the Sindh government to launch the much-delayed Karachi Circular Railway.

The KUTC was formed in 2008 with 60 per cent stake of the federal government and 25pc of the Sindh government. The then city district government Karachi got remaining 15pc share in it.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah chaired the 11th meeting of the PCIC which was attended by Corp Commander Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, provincial ministers and advisers and senior government officials.

The chief minister was told that the KUTC would undertake the KCR project, but the company was still under the control of the federal government.

Project will be undertaken by Chinese authorities following an agreement, PCIC told

The chief minister said that he would talk to the prime minister to take over the KUTC, which was responsible to complete documentation for the KCR project.

The meeting was also told that Pakistan Railways had demanded equal value of land from the Sindh government to hand over the Right of Way (RoW) of KCR. At this, the chief minister said that the provincial government had given land to the railway authorities purely for transportation purposes.

“The KCR is also a train and it will operate on the same track, then why the railway authorities are demanding value of the land,” he questioned.

The chief minister directed the divisional superintendent of PR, who was present in the meeting, to resolve the issue and give the go-ahead to the provincial authorities so that it could be communicated to the Chinese authorities to initiate the KCR project.

It was pointed out that the National Railways Administration (NRA), China required to conduct an updated feasibility study of the KCR project.

The planning and development chairman told the meeting that the feasibility study had already been done and sent to Chinese authorities. The chief minister said that now the Chinese authorities had to make a framework agreement to start the project.

Malir Expressway

The meeting also discussed issues pertaining to the Malir Expressway project.

It was informed that the 38.75-km high-speed controlled access road from Jam Sadiq Bridge to the Kathore interchange near M-9, would have six interchanges.

The project is divided into two segments of 15 kilometres and 24 kilometres, respectively, with a construction time of 30 months. The first section from Jam Sadiq Bridge to Quaidabad is to be constructed within 18 months i.e. by the end of the current year.

The meeting was informed that 138.2 acres would be acquired in the second segment with a tentative land acquisition cost of Rs3.7 billion.

The chief minister directed the authorities not to disturb the people living in the villages but construct a two-km elevated structure on the left side of the villages on the existing alignment — at the outer periphery of the right bank of Malir River — bypassing Samo, Lasi, and Old Shafi Goths to avoid land acquisition and relocation. “The provincial govt would pay for the construction of the bridge,” he said.

Link Road

The CM was informed that the Link Road that connects National Highway N5 to Motorway M-9, was a 22-km-long, four-lane, dual carriageway project.

The commercial corridor would provide upcountry access to Port Qasim, industrial areas of Landhi, Korangi, and Steel Mills. There is a grade intersection at N5 and grade separated interchange at M-9. The construction of the M-9 interchange would cost around Rs2bn.

The meeting also discussed Bus Rapid Transit Yellow and Red lines.

Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon told the meeting that both the projects were launched with the assistance of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, respectively.

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