Karachi: Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC), a regulatory authority, made with a big fanfare with tall claims to revolutionize the public transport sector in Karachi has yet to complete even a single projects despite passage of six years; however, every month the Sindh government pays millions of rupees for running this body and feeding its officers and staff.
Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) is a regulatory authority which was supposed to be the vehicle for the implementation of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. KUTC was incorporated on 8 May, 2008 in Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) as Public Limited Co. (Not Listed).
It was further supposed that on completion of the KCR project, Karachi Urban Transport Corporation will oversee its management and an international operator of repute will be appointed for operations and maintenance of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) on the pattern of successful role models of Singapore Mass Transit Rail (SMRT), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Dubai Metro.
KUTC Board of Directors comprises of four directors of Pakistan Railways (General Manager (Operations), Additional General Manager (IBU), Divisional Superintendent Karachi & Managing Director KUTC), two of Government of Sindh (Chief Secretary as Ex-Officio Chairman & Secretary Transport), two of City District Government Karachi (Administrator KMC & Director General Karachi Mass Transit Cell) and one Director from Private Sector.
According the KUTC the KCR will be revived as a Modern Commuter System to meet the essential transportation need of the citizens of Karachi.
Route length: 43.12Km dual tracks (elevated 22.86Km,tunnel 3.93km,ground 16.33km) with 24 stations. Trains will operate at 6min. headway/interval: Passengers/Train 1391: Per Day: 0.698Ml. Electric traction infrastructure with modernized signaling & telecommunication system
Interchange facilities with proposed BRT, LRT & connectivity with existing road network
Provisions of segmental fare level compatible to bus fare. Computerized ticketing , automated gates, vending machines and elevators. The Floor level of the coaches will be same as platform level. Provision of Reliable power supply through grid network. Stations will be provided at the distance of each 1.5 KM to 2 KM. KCR route will be free from level crossing. The entire KCR will be provided with electric traction infrastructure. Modernized signaling & telecommunication system. Every train will be comprised of 6 coaches. Every train will be provided separate ladies accommodation. Trains are equipped with Automatic break control (ABS) System. Increased convenience for elderly and special persons. Lost & Found department on each station. Safety & security facilities will be available at each station.
However, as per the official website of the KUTC, the progress of revival of KCR so far only includes:
Validation of Special Assistance for Project Formation (SAPROF) by M/s. Louis Berger Co. USA & Local Associates in April-2010.
Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) report of resettlement site of project affectees approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 26th, 2010.
Drawings of preliminary route alignment of the project have been prepared and are under approval of Pakistan Railways authorities at Headquarters Office Lahore.
Resettlement Action Plan Study completed and sent to JICA Tokyo on Oct 2nd, 2010.
On Oct 6th, 2010, an MOU has been signed with Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) for uninterrupted power supply of 150 MW; dedicated for Karachi Circular Railway project. Other modalities of electric load, operational principles of electric supply has been furnished to Karachi Electric Supply Corporation.
The land required for KCR project has been verified by EDO / Board of Revenue to land utilization department, summary to be sent to Chief Minister Sindh for the transfer of the title of land from Pakistan Railway to Karachi Urban Transport Corporation, is under process.
The Karachiites have the right to ask what the KUTC has been doing from 2011 to date for solving the public transport issues of Karachiites. They suggest in this age of serious financial crunch it is not prudent to run yet another ‘white elephant’ on limited public exchequer.
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