Karachi Circular Railway revived after 20 years
Statesman Report
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Pakistan Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Thursday inaugurated the much-awaited Karachi Circular Railway project at the City Station in Karachi, Radio Pakistan reported.
Addressing a post-launch ceremony, Ahmed said four trains will operate daily from Pipri to the City Station in the first phase. The fare has been decided at Rs30 per route while the traveling pass will be sold at Rs750.
Ahmed said the KCR will be extended to other parts of the city. "Rs1.8 billion have been earmarked for the project - out of which Rs17 million have been spent," he said. "A KCR coach cost Rs900,000."
The minister said government will remove encroachment on land owned by the Pakistan Railways.
The KCR project
The project was originally commissioned in 1964 to accommodate PR employees traveling between work and home. In 1970, the service turned into a full circle of 44km, connecting Karachi's four main work areas - S.I.T.E, downtown, Landhi Industrial Area and the port.
Until 1984, KCR remained popular means of public transport.
Then the government reduced number of trains due to lack of maintenance and repair of trains and tracks and a huge gap between expenditure and revenue.
The project was later shut down in 1999.
In February this year, the Supreme Court ordered relaunch of the KCR within six months and directed the railways ministry and Sindh government to remove encroachments from the land needed for its operationalisation.