Revival of KCR to stimulate Karachi economy

KARACHI: One of the mega projects on the cards in the country these days, Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), would have a great impact on economy of Pakistan, said Karachi Urban Transport Corporation Managing Director Shamim Ahmed Sherazi on Monday.

Talking to PPI at his office here, he said that for the first time all the stakeholders including provincial government, federal government and city administration, have a consensus and yearn to get the long lingering project started. It seems imminent this time as there have been talks of making progress for the project on fast track.

He said that every mega project influences the economy, usually, in a positive way. However, KCR has been designed to boost the economy of Karachi specially and the national economy in general, as well as, to upgrade living standard of Karachiites.

“Thousands of people would be required to build up the project and thousands other to run it. People from labourers to the higher executive positions would get jobs in this project,” he said.

That would quicken the pace of local economy. People would reach their desired destinations in half or less than half time in comparison with time consumed by other public transport methods. As a consequence, it would lessen the psychological pressure of reaching late, getting stuck in traffic; hence, improve professional performance and productivity and people would get more time for their social and leisure needs also, he said.

Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui also termed the project revival welcome news for Karachi, adding the project would shed the burden of commuters from road-based public transport sector and help revive the economy.

“With facilitating more than 0.6 million people initially with modern, rapid and low-cost transportation facilities daily, KCR would accelerate the movement of economy,” he said.

KUTC MD said that a concrete wall would be erected along the tracks to save the land from encroachers and security pickets would be built on the route to save the tracks from criminals and security guards would also be provided on board.

“I am quite hopeful that private transport owners would also prefer to travel in KCR trains, because this would be providing so many high-standard facilities i.e., clean and green environment, easy and safe access for women, senior citizens and children, about every item of basic utilities at stations, no issue of traffic jams and security,” he said.

Sherazi further informed that there would be a separate security department which would handle security issues of the KCR, adding contracts would be given for cleaning the stations along with CCTV cameras monitoring of them. If there would be found any littering lying on floor for above five minutes, the contractor would be fined for that.

It was also learnt that the cooperation of Japan International Cooperation Agency has specially revived the project. JICA would not only help financially but would assist throughout the project with its engineers and advanced technology.

Talking on one of the most advanced features of the project, he said that the trains would be run on electricity provided by K-Electric, around 60 megawatts overall, and the best part of the technology would be that the trains would also regenerate electricity through their tractions.

An eight-member committee constituted by provincial and federal authorities for planning recommendations, consisted of Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Secretary Transport Tuaha Ahmed Farooqui, Administrator Karachi Rauf Akhter Farooqui, Managing Director Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) Shamim Ahmed Sherazi, Project Director KUTC Ijaz Hussain Khilji, Divisional Superintendant Pakistan Railway Nisar Ahmed Memon and SSP PR Robin Yamin, has already had three meetings to review the project initialization.

Sherazi said that we have finally submitted report of recommendations consisting on three plans to the provincial government and he personally had requested the government to immediately hold a final meeting to decide the fate of the project.

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