Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Sunday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was coming to Karachi tomorrow and he would perform groundbreaking for the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
He stated this while talking to media persons after attending a ceremony of Global Ismaili CIVIC Day here. He said that much good news was coming for Karachi.
The Governor said that Greenline bus service’s infrastructure had been completed, its buses had reached the city and we are also starting the dry run of the buses in the following 10 days.
He said that Green line service would be inaugurated next month and soon after that K-VI project would be inaugurated. He further said that K-VI would be completed to meet water shortage in the city.
KCR: a story of unsuccess
Since 2001, several attempts were made to revive KCR but they have been unsuccessful. The latest attempt is also heading towards failure as KCR continues to face low demand. The financial deficits may force KCR to once again, begin shutting down. In an attempt to sustain the project, Pakistan Railway has even reduced one train and restricted two operations.
With its launch in 1962, during President Ayub Khan’s tenure, KCR aimed to facilitate the large population of Karachi with quick and cost-effective transport within the city. The initial rail tracks began from Karachi City Station and ended at Drigh Road Station.
PM @ImranKhanPTI to launch modern KCR (Karachi Circular Railway) electric train, 44 km loop covering all Karachi
The project will create more than 50,000 job opportunities and will provide fast, economical & modern transport for passengers & freight
Phase 1 groundbreaking tmrw pic.twitter.com/vOCsmP7sFu
— • S I D R A • (@imran_sidra) September 26, 2021
Currently, it seems as if Pakistan Railways has once again failed to address the main problem areas. In order for train projects to be successful, elements like feeder bus service, standard gauge and light rail are necessary, but KCR continues to run on a broad gauge and heavy engine. Apart from this, no feeder bus service has been provided for the convenience of travellers.
Also, the operating cost of the project is very high due to the current prices of fuel and electricity, both of which are sky-rocketing all over the world. Needless to say, the total budget allocation of Rs. 357 billion has not been utilized efficiently.
In November 2020, the Supreme Court mandated the urgent revival of KCR; hence Pakistan Railways restored KCR without efficient and sustainable planning. According to an anonymous source from Sindh Transport Department, the partial revival of KCR was done only to avoid court proceedings.
APP with additional input by GVS News Desk