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Supreme Court’s deadline to revive Karachi Circular Railway ends today

KARACHI: The Supreme Court’s deadline to revive Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) ended Sunday (today) but the matter still remains in the phase of clearance of encroachments on the railway track.

The Supreme Court had directed the Sindh government on May 09 to revive the KCR within a month once encroachments upon the track are cleared.

The deadline given by the apex court comes to an end on Sunday (today) but the matter still at the stage of removal of encroachments.

The authorities launched a drive on May 15, to remove encroachments including houses, shops and other concrete structured that had been built at the abandoned track. However, the city authorities have cleared 40 acres of the railway land so far.

Railways Minister Shaikh Rasheed in a statement said that the track will be cleared after announcement of the federal budget. He had demanded Rs. one billion from Sindh government for restoration of the railway track.

Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar has claimed that the government was not serious for revival of the city’s railway system as the track still not fully cleared of encroachments.

He quesion how could the train service will revive when when the bogies are not available with the federal government.

A bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, while hearing the case pertaining to the revival of the local train and tram service in the Karachi registry, also told Pakistan Railways secretary Farrukh Habib to clear encroachments on the KCR track within a fortnight.

Justice Ahmed inquired why the PR had not implemented the top court’s order regarding clearing encroachments on the KCR track that was issued in November last year. He said that the railway should seek assistance from Karachi’s mayor and other authorities to remove the encroachments from the track.

The bench had also directed the federal and provincial governments and city authorities to provide alternate land to people who would be affected by the removal of encroachments.

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