Karachi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday has instructed the Sindh government to fulfil the documentary requirements and release funds for the building of underpasses and overhead bridges on the Karachi Circular Railway (KCT) line, reported the news sources.
As per the orders issued by SC’s three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad, the apex court has given an ultimatum of one month to complete the project’s PC-I, contract signing, issuance of the work order and availability of the funds required for the execution of the project. Moreover, the Advocate General of Sindh Salman Talibuddin has been given a month to submit a report about the project.
Previously, in January 2020, the provincial government had committed PKR 6 billion to make KCR functional within the time frame given by the SC bench. However, the contract was given to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), which after thorough evaluation made design changes. As per the details revealed in the court, FWO, in consultation with the railways, had altered the scope and tenor of the project, due to which, the provincial government could not kickstart it.
In response, FWO contended that the existing project details weren’t feasible for the construction of underpasses and bridges, and elevation of the track was necessary. The organisation argued that with the revised design, the overall project cost will remain the same, and minimal obstruction of traffic and displacement of people will be needed for construction work. After hearing arguments of both sides, the court declared the revised design to be feasible, technically sound and acceptable to all concerned.
Karachi Circular Railway
Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) is a mass transit system that is partially active in the provincial city and has a length of 50 kilometres. The project slowly fell prey to the encroachment and became obsolete. However, the Supreme Court directed the provincial government to come up with plans to revive the project to lessen the burden of traffic and make commuting easy.