The federal government has envisaged a plan to convert the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) into Railway Freight Corridor and decided to complete the codal formalities of the circular railway project at the earliest.
The decision was taken in a session chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar regarding the KCR and Railway Freight Corridor projects. He was briefed over the progress of work for the revival of the KCR project.
It has been decided by the federal authorities to convert Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project into a freight corridor. In the briefing, Asad Umar was told that the work was on track in accordance with the timeline of the KCR project provided by the planning ministry.
It added that electric trains will be run on a 43km long KCR railway track after the construction of an affordable mass transit system.
The planning minister directed concerned authorities to complete arrangements for the groundbreaking of KCR project by September 2021.
During the meeting, it was briefed that the upgradation and expansion of the 50-kilometre freight corridor project will be completed to run the trains from Keamari/KPT to Pipri Marshalling Yard.
On the other hand, it was learnt that there was no development work initiated on the almost 20-kilometre track of KCR from Orangi Town to Drigh Road except the removal of encroachments, whereas, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) was still due to start the construction of bridges and underpasses for the project.
In February last year, the Ministry of Railways had decided to construct a special freight corridor by laying a 50-kilometre-long double-track line between Karachi Port and Pipri Yard.
The spokesperson had said a double-track line will be laid for running freight shuttle trains for transporting containers between Karachi Port and Marshalling Yard Pipri.
He said Karachi Port possesses the capacity of average of three million containers annually and the new project will reduce the traffic burden on Karachi’s roads.
The special freight corridor will also generate a huge revenue for the railway sector said the spokesperson, adding that the ministry will acquire services of a firm for conducting feasibility study of the project.