PM says Centre and Sindh need to work together
"Every country across the world has one city that leads its prosperity and growth. For Pakistan, it's Karachi," Prime Minister Imran Khan remarked.
The premier reached the city on Monday to lay the foundation of the Karachi Circular Railway. "In the 1980s, when Karachi started taking off, chaos ensued in the city and the problems faced by it affected the entire country."
When the Centre, along with the Sindh government, formed the Karachi Transformation Plan in September last year, we decided to counter the infrastructural issues in the city. And that requires fixing the transport system, the PM pointed out.
"The Karachi Circular Railway will touch every area of the city and reduce pressure from the roads. There's the Green Line and other projects in the pipeline too because the city is growing at a massive pace."
The prime minister was confident that the second problem of the city, water shortage, will soon be countered too.
"I talked to the WAPDA chairman before coming here and he believes that the K-IV project is on track and will be completed in two years."
The PM said that for the sake of Sindh and Pakistan, the federal and provincial governments will have to work together.
"The chief minister of Sindh is here today. I want you to reconsider the Bundal and Buddo island project. Sindh will immensely benefit from it. The profits will be yours. The jobs created will be for the people of Sindh. And this will reduce pressure from Karachi."
If Karachi keeps spreading the same way, the PM warned, it will become difficult to provide essential amenities to the people of the city.
The River Ravi project has also been initiated to save Lahore, he said. "We need to start planning for cities or else they will become unsustainable."
The Bundle Island project is bringing in huge foreign investments. Our biggest asset, overseas Pakistanis, needs to be utilised. They will bring dollars and stabilise money in the country.
"Reconsider this and we will talk to you about it later. This is a win-win situation for Sindh and Pakistan."
Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded that the biggest hurdle in the completion of big projects is the lack of government attention. "KCR is a big project. The Sindh and federal government need to exert all energy on it to ensure that it's completed on time."
KCR’s complete track will start from Drigh Road station, going through Gulistan-e-Jauhar and heading to Gulshan-e-Iqbal. From there it will turn towards Nazimabad going through Yaseenabad and Liaqatabad. The track then heads to Manghopir and SITE before going taking a turn towards Baldia and going through Lyari, Mereweather Tower, City Station and onward to PIDC and Karachi Cantt.
The KCR would then run parallel to Sharae Faisal and go through Chanesar Goth, Shaheed-e-Millat, and Karsaz before completing a round trip at the Drigh Road station.
In the first phase, the infrastructure will be fixed and then the project will formally kick off in the second phase. The government will be spending Rs250 billion on the project, which is expected to be completed by 2023.
One train will accommodate approximately 800 passengers. Twenty-five trains will be run initially.