KARACHI: $3.5 billion worth of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) unlikely to be cleared for inclusion in the CPEC at this stage because of some unsettled issues between the two countries.
Dawn has reported this on Tuesday when the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting is being held. The newspaper has stated that the KCR project is likely to be dropped for now.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Friday approved nine development projects at a cost of Rs311 billion, including the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), which will be constructed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.
It is pertinent to mention here that the project was made a part of the CPEC by the governments of China and Pakistan at the 6th joint coordination committee held in December last year.
The revival of the project was also approved on October 6 at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at a rationalised cost of Rs207.5bn. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was scheduled to perform groundbreaking of the KCR on December 25 at a ceremony to be held at Wazir Mansion, the birth place of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The project to revive the KCR includes the construction of 24 stations, procurement of 162 locomotives each with a capacity of 250 passengers. The project is expected to serve the commuting needs of 515,000 passengers each day, and is projected to be completed in three years — towards the end of 2020.