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Railway minister ordered for early completion of ML-1, KCR projects

The Supreme Court of Pakistan directed Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Minister for Planning and Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar to complete the ML-1 railway track in the next two years, while the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) should be completed in the next three months.

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A three member bench-comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ihaz-ul-Ahsan, and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard Pakistan Railways losses case on Wednesday. The Supreme Court of Pakistan directed Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Minister for Planning and Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar to complete the ML-1 railway track in the next two years, while the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) should be completed in the next three months.

In his response, the minister for Railway Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed told the Supreme Court that they had bulldozed the encroachments that hindered the railway line, and assured the court that the KCR track is about to be cleared and will be made functional in next few months.

CJP remarked during the hearing “ you have said each and every thing in business plan but you did not tell when and how it will be implemented. The minister Sheikh Rashid responded “ the job which was not done in 70 years has been done within 12 days.” CJP remarked “ we are grateful to you. This is being done for nation. This job is neither for my sake nor for your sake.”

In a fairy exchange of words the Chief Justice of Pakistan asked Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed when the ribbon will be cut for the KCR projects, ’’It will be cut whenever you order’’, responded the Railway Minister.

The Chief justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed warned for the dire consequences if the the deadline for the completion of the railway tracks and the KCR is failed to be followed

However, the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar told the court that the KCR track cannot be made functional in few months as the project needs mammoth financing which cannot be managed in few months.

Responding to a question by the Chief Justice, Asad Umar said that the 1880 Kilometers-long project will be presented to the CNETRAL Development Working Party (CSWP) which functions under Ministry of Planning and it will also be approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in April.

Meanwhile, after the court proceeding, the Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed talked media and he thanked Supreme Court for giving tender deadline for the ML-1 railway project. Asad Umar, while talking to media said that the project will also be discussed in the GCC meeting with China.

Read more: Reforming Pakistan Railways

The Chief justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed warned of dire consequences if the deadline for the completion of the railway tracks and the KCR was not followed.

The hearing of railways losses case has been adjourned until Feb, 21 and the next hearing will be proceeded in the Karachi registry of Supreme Court where the railway minister and the Chief Secretary Sindh have been summoned on February, 21.

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