KARACHI: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project would be completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as encroachments over the 45km route of the public transport project would be removed within 15 days in line with the Supreme Court orders.
Talking to reporters after chairing a meeting and visiting the track of the project, the federal minister said that the Centre would extend every possible assistance to the Sindh government for the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway project.
He expressed the hope that the project’s revival would also benefit the Pakistan Railways for gaining experience in the local service operation in one of the largest cities of the world.
“All stakeholders of this project, including the Sindh government, are on the same page for implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders regarding the KCR,” he said.
“Some 50 feet on each sides of the KCR track would be got vacated from the encroachers within 15 days. We have devised a strategy to functionalise the KCR and in the first phase encroachments on both sides of the track would be removed under the directives of the court,” added the minister.
Replying to a question about the developing political scene in the country, Mr Rashid made a jibe at the parties in the opposition — mainly the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-N PML (N) — accusing them of protesting against accountability.
“The Iftar-dinner doesn’t affect the government or its policies,” the minister said.
“I had suggested to [Prime Minister] Imran Khan to offer them an NRO and get rid of them, but he didn’t turn soft on them and vowed for accountability.
‘‘Had they been offered the NRO, they wouldn’t have felt the need to host an Iftar-dinner. The opposition is always welcome over positive criticism and suggestions but not to protect a few people’s corruption,” he said.
Responding to a question, Mr Rashid demanded resignation of the Sindh health minister following the recent HIV outbreak in Larkana. The poor services of health and declining quality of life in rural Sindh due to poverty were proof of the PPP’s three-term performance in the province, he said.
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019