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Karachi: Karachi Circular Railway (KCR)

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#21
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President okays various mega projects for city
By Razzak Abro

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari, on Monday, approved different mega projects for Karachi during a high-level meeting held at the Bilawal House.

At least five of them were related to transport and communication systems, which include launching of the Karachi Mass Transit Programme, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Transit CNG Bus Project and Bus Rapid Transit System, as well as the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), completion of the Lyari Expressway and improvement of the Karachi Hyderabad Motorway.

The participants of the meeting included Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Federal Communication Minister Dr Arbab Alamgir, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali, Secretary General to the President Salman Farooqui, provincial ministers Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, Agha Siraj Durrani, Mir Nadir Magsi and Shazia Marri besides federal and provincial officials.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri said that the president has approved the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Transit CNG Bus Project for Karachi. It would be a public transport scheme, under which, 500 environmentally friendly CNG buses will be introduced. Only women would have the right to ownership besides 50 percent of the seats would be reserved for women passengers.

According to her, the city nazim would launch the scheme and would oversee its implementation. She said that the federal government would provide an interest subsidy of Rs 700,000 on each bus. The number of buses in Karachi under the project would be increased to 4,000 by 2012, she added.

About the Karachi Mass Transit, she said that the federal government would provide sovereign guarantee for the Karachi Mass Transit, which will be built on a Build-Own-Operate basis. International competitive bids will be invited soon and the scheme will be launched soon, she said.

Regarding the KCR, the minister said that it is being revived at a cost of $ 1.6 billion with international assistance. According to her, the president wants the scheme to be implemented as soon as possible. The president also directed that a resettlement plan be prepared for the rehabilitation of the people settled in the way of the KCR.

About the Lyari Expressway, Marri said that the president has approved the financing of the project. The project would be launched immediately and the planning commission is already working on the funds. She told the media persons that the president wants the governor and the chief minister to undertake vertical development for settlement of those who have been displaced due to the project.

Talking about the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), the minister said that the city nazim is making efforts for its launch as soon as possible. According to the plan, three corridors would initially be developed in the city. These include Nagan Chowrangi to Cantonment Station, Safura Goth to Numiash Chowrangi and Orangi to Board Office Chowrangi.

About development of the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway, she said that the president has directed that the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway be constructed as a modern motorway in conformity with international standards. According to her, the Karachi Sewerage Scheme was also approved at the meeting.

Marri said that it was also decided that work on the Larkana–Khairpur Bridge would be accelerated. Besides, she added, the meeting reviewed the road networks in Sindh and directed NHA for completion of the Sukkur-Shikarpur –Jacobabad Expressway and Ratodero-Sewhan additional carriageway on a priority basis.

The minister said that the president also directed that work should be expedited on Thar Coal project and other infrastructure development projects. About realignment of the RBOD-III, the president directed that consultants be assigned with the task of the proposed change of alignment. The president reviewed progress on the Hyderabad–Mirpurkhas Dual Carriageway as well, while also stressing upon improvement of the canal system and lining of distributaries and minors to ensure water conservation, she added.




Source: Daily Times

#22
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Allah Mustafa Kamal ko Hamesha Salamat rakhey

#23
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Ameeeen Ameeeen!!

#24
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Delays push KCR project cost up to $1.58 bn
Thursday, July 02, 2009
By Asadullah

Karachi

As the Karachi Urban Transport Company gears up efforts to devise the resettlement action plan of the ambitious Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project, modification and inordinate delay have raised the project cost to $1.58 billion, The News has reliably learnt.

“This drastic rise in the project cost is due to upgradation and time overrun to avoid cost overrunning in the end”, explains the source in the Railways. “We may end up saving some money in the end but we can’t afford running after capital.”

One of the important modifications has been added to the existing plan of reviving KCR is the elevation of the KCR tracks measuring about 20 to 22 kilometres to avoid trespassing. This split segments of elevated route will also see 11 stations being elevated.

“We have been witnessing deaths due to this very trespassing over the unfenced railway tracks every year”, said the official. “Virtually abandoned KCR tracks have invited variety of encroachments. Even slums have sprung up along the tracks making the route highly dangerous for plying of the trains”.

According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has been constantly updating the blueprint of KCR revival, there are about 85 sites on the proposed KCR loop, where trespassing has become routine. This forced the planners to come up with an innovative solution of elevating 11 stations.

Authorities are trying to devise limited access to the stations on the KCR, thinking of allowing commuters to board trains only if they have the smart card or e-tickets. They have plans to fence the tracks forming the KCR loop in a bid to avoid accidents besides ensuring fast and smooth service.

The KUTC has plans to connect the airport to the KCR loop by laying out six kilometres of underground tracks very much along the pattern of the Delhi Metro. “We are also working on the interval between two trains called as headway to attract commuters”, an official said. “Headway in Delhi is six minutes”.

Another important feature of the revival of the KCR is the redesigning the 3.5-milometre track on the KCR loop, where the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) will create a tunnel, covering three stations between Gulistan-e-Jauhar to Gulshan-e-Iqbal. This is recommended keeping in view of the topography of the area, which is rocky.

Besides such remarkable changes in the project design, the KUTC officials also cited domestic and international recession responsible for the rise in project’s total cost, which was earlier estimated to be around $872 million.

According to the proponents of the project, the KCR is being revived through a development loan from Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) at a highly subsidized rate of 0.2 per cent mark-up. The loan is payable within 40 years, with an initial 10-year grace period.

Since the KCR project is JBIC-funded project, the KUTC is bound to follow the Japanese and World Bank’s guidelines for resettlements. A socio-economic survey pertinent to Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) has also been sought to collect demographic conditions of the project area.

Sources at the KUTC said a JICA team is scheduled to visit Pakistan in July to meet KUTC and other top railway and finance ministry’s officials in this regard.

The KCR went off the tracks in 1997 due to heavy losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways. Amidst chaotic and often subhuman bus services, people preferred owning their own means of transport. It led the vehicular traffic swelling manifold causing severe hardships to commuters, left at the mercy of private sector buses.

Now the KUTC has been entrusted with resurrecting the KCR along the 55-kilometre tracks as a viable travel mode within the city, where travel time on bus has shot up nearly 45 per cent in a year.




Source: The News

#25
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EPA approves $1.58 billion KCR project study
GHULAM ABBAS

KARACHI (July 16 2009): The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the Environmental Impact Assessment Study (EIAS) for $1.58 billion Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. Moreover, the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) is also likely to complete the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the rehabilitation of the affected persons by the mid of September 2009.

According to sources, the EIAS had been completed with the Special Assistance for Project Formation (SAPROF), etc, led by a group of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), with a delay of at least five months. Beside the environmental studies, sources said that resettlement of thousands of families, widely spread along the railway line in the last few years, was the big issue for the concerned authority.

For that the process such as getting satellite images of the KCR track from Suparco, data collection from different sources regarding the actual figures of the encroachers and meeting with different groups of people who were living on the encroached lands, was also in progress, they added. They said that at least two Japanese experts of the resettlement process were also likely to visit Pakistan by the first week of next month. The Japanese group was also reviewing the resettlement process of the victims of Lyari Expressway and others in the city to peacefully handle the issue, they added.

The RAP study, a socio-economic survey, was also being prepared to collect demographic conditions of the project area, with guidelines of Japan International Co-operation Agency (Jica) and the World Bank. The KCR project being funded by Japan Bank of International Co-operation (JBIC) was also bound to follow the guidelines of the Japanese agency.

They further said that discussions were also going on with the Board of Revenue to get at least 300 acres of land, which was needed at over 700 points of the project. The PC-I based on the fresh study conducted by a survey team of Jica for the revival of the KCR was yet to be approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP).

The current study, conducted by a Japanese team from the ministry of economy, trade & industry, government of Japan, adds some new developments. Japan, as a first parameter, would dualise KCR's 30-km loop with modern signalling and telecommunication system.

At least two dedicated tracks along with the main line from City (Railway) Station to Drigh Road Station of 14.5 kms, which would later be linked to the airport with a distance of 6kms, at a cost of $179.464 million. They said Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) would be the vehicle for the implementation of the project having on its Board the senior officials of Pakistan Railways, Government of Sindh and City District Government Karachi (CDGK).




Source: Business Recorder

#26
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Routes

Route Distance No. of Stations Name of Stations

Malir Cantt.-Karachi City-Malir Cantt. 29 kilometre 11 Malir Cantt. Station, Model Colony,Malir Colony

Airport,Drigh Colony,Drigh Road

Departure Yard,Chanesar Halt,Cantt. Station

DCOS Halt,Karachi City Station

Landhi-Karachi City-Landhi 29 kilometre 11 Landhi Station,Malir City, Malir Colony

Airport, Drigh Colony, Drigh Road

Departure Yard, Chanesar Halt, Cantt. Station

DCOS Halt, Karachi City Station

Karachi City-Dhabeji-Karachi City 51.1 kilometre 18 Dhabeji Station, Gaddar, Marshaling Yard

Marshaling Yard Halt, Bilal Nala, Bin Qasim

Jumma Goth, Landhi, Malir City

Malir Colony, Airport, Drigh Colony

Drigh Road, Departure Yard, Chanesar Halt

Cantt. Station, DCOS Halt, Karachi City Station


#27
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ECNEC approves revival of Karachi Circular Railway
By Ijaz Kakakhel

* Committee okays 20 projects valued at Rs 259.4 billion

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved on Thursday 20 projects – valued at Rs 259.4 billion with a foreign exchange component of Rs 149 billion – including the Rs 128.5 revival of the billion Karachi circular railway as a modern commuter system.

The railway project proposes idealisation of the loop along with the provision of two dedicated tracks along Pakistan Railways up main lines from Karachi city and Karachi Cantt to the Drig Road Station. The new system would be equipped with modern technology, and provide international standard travel facilities to about 700,000 commuters a day, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira told journalists after an ECNEC meeting.

Replying to a question, the minister said the meeting approved the Pakistan Railways Karachi project on the condition that a third party conduct a study for the scheme.


Another important Railways project – valued at Rs 15.9 billion – for the procurement and manufacture of 202 new design passenger coaches of various types was also approved. The carriages would be capable attaining speeds of 160 kilometres per hour, and incur lesser maintenance cost. The government has already approved the purchase of 75 Railways engines to enhance operational capacity.

Ten projects – likely to cost Rs 57.5 billion – for small and medium dams were also approved. These include revised projects for Satpara Dam and Sabakzai Dam and small and medium projects for Ghabir Dam, Papin Dam, Winder Dam, Daraban Dam, Pelar Dam and other multipurpose dams.

The meeting also approved the ‘New Khanki Barrage Construction Project’ – valued at Rs 23.442 billion. The Sukkur barrage rehabilitation and improvement project – likely to cost Rs 1.87 billion – was also approved.

ECNEC also endorsed the ‘Kabul River and Warsak Canal System’ project – valued at Rs 4.53 billion’. The meeting also approved ‘Pyara Kashmir Programme’ in Azad Jammu and Kashmir worth Rs 10.72 billion.




Source: Daily Times

#28
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Karachi railway

GRIDLOCK is a feature of life in Pakistani cities and we can build flyovers or underpasses by the day and still not solve the problem. A plaster cannot staunch the flow from a gaping wound, and a broken leg will be permanently disfigured if it is not set in place. When the basics aren’t right, no amount of papering over the cracks can ever produce a lasting solution. More roads may ease congestion in the immediate term but their utility is bound to be shortlived in a country with a burgeoning population. In any case, available space is finite and there are only so many flyovers that can be built. The answer lies in developing mass transit systems that can transport people cheaply and quickly from Point A to B. Commuters ought to be able to travel in relative comfort without compromising on their dignity on a daily basis. Besides improving the lives of those who use public transport, effective mass transit systems would eventually reduce the number of buses on the roads, easing gridlock and cutting pollution levels.
In this connection it is heartening to hear that the reactivation of the Karachi Circular Railway has been approved by the National Economic Council. Japan is said to be providing a soft loan for the Rs128.5bn project which, if imple mented effectively, could go a long way in easing Karachi’s transport woes. The KCR served the city well before it fell victim to Pakistan Railways’ grow ing fiscal incompetence. Given Karachi’s popula tion, there is no reason why the KCR cannot turn a profit if it is run proper ly. That said, such plans have been floated time and again over the last decade but to no avail. This time round, the funds are apparently available, the centre has given the go-ahead and Sindh is keen on the idea as well. As such the KCR will fail to materialise only if it is deliberately sidelined.

Honesty of purpose will determine where we go from here. It is no secret that private transporters, in conjunction with the ‘in efficiency’ of government organisations, have played a pivotal role in putting state-run bus services out of business in Karachi. These same vested inter ests cannot be allowed to derail the Karachi Circular Railway which has the po tential to remain in the black while providing a key service to millions. Commuters in Pakistan need options if they are not to be held hostage by the transporters’ syndi cate. Train rides within the city used to serve a practi cal purpose and were sometimes also fun. A new generation may also bene fit from that experience.




Source: Dawn

#29
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Karachi railway

GRIDLOCK is a feature of life in Pakistani cities and we can build flyovers or underpasses by the day and still not solve the problem. A plaster cannot staunch the flow from a gaping wound, and a broken leg will be permanently disfigured if it is not set in place. When the basics aren’t right, no amount of papering over the cracks can ever produce a lasting solution. More roads may ease congestion in the immediate term but their utility is bound to be shortlived in a country with a burgeoning population. In any case, available space is finite and there are only so many flyovers that can be built. The answer lies in developing mass transit systems that can transport people cheaply and quickly from Point A to B. Commuters ought to be able to travel in relative comfort without compromising on their dignity on a daily basis. Besides improving the lives of those who use public transport, effective mass transit systems would eventually reduce the number of buses on the roads, easing gridlock and cutting pollution levels.
In this connection it is heartening to hear that the reactivation of the Karachi Circular Railway has been approved by the National Economic Council. Japan is said to be providing a soft loan for the Rs128.5bn project which, if imple mented effectively, could go a long way in easing Karachi’s transport woes. The KCR served the city well before it fell victim to Pakistan Railways’ grow ing fiscal incompetence. Given Karachi’s popula tion, there is no reason why the KCR cannot turn a profit if it is run proper ly. That said, such plans have been floated time and again over the last decade but to no avail. This time round, the funds are apparently available, the centre has given the go-ahead and Sindh is keen on the idea as well. As such the KCR will fail to materialise only if it is deliberately sidelined.

Honesty of purpose will determine where we go from here. It is no secret that private transporters, in conjunction with the ‘in efficiency’ of government organisations, have played a pivotal role in putting state-run bus services out of business in Karachi. These same vested inter ests cannot be allowed to derail the Karachi Circular Railway which has the po tential to remain in the black while providing a key service to millions. Commuters in Pakistan need options if they are not to be held hostage by the transporters’ syndi cate. Train rides within the city used to serve a practi cal purpose and were sometimes also fun. A new generation may also bene fit from that experience.




Source: Dawn



:cheers:

#30
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Circular railway: looking ahead
By Kunwar Idris

Karachi is the only large city in the world where public transport is run by a mafia.

THE Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) closed down over 10 years ago. The last train that ran covered the 32-km distance from the city’s eastern suburbs to the central station in two hours earning a total fare of just Rs8,000. Little else needs to be said to explain the cause of its closure.
In a quarter century of its stumbling operations the KCR burdened the country’s railways with huge losses while providing little relief to commuters. Nevertheless, its refurbishment and revival remained on the books of planners, though the focus shifted chiefly to tram-cum-bus transit corridors — seven of them — running through the conurbation of colonies and shanties that Karachi had become since independence.

In 20 years the corridor scheme attracted no investor. The government didn’t pursue it either. The chief deterrence was its huge cost and environmental hazards. The forsaken circular railway plan was dusted off the shelf when the Japanese government showed interest. It has since agreed to finance it fully after years of painstaking study by Japanese experts.

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project recently, subject to a second and more careful look at its staggering cost of Rs128.5bn.

For the people of Karachi, the project is a surprise gift — but from the people of Japan, not from the MQM or the ANP as their leaders have claimed. It is not usual for a project of this size, which also has a commercial dimension to it, to be financed entirely by a foreign government or agency, and that too at a token rate of interest. The three tiers of government — federal, provincial and district — will now have only adminis trative costs to fight over, if they must, which is barely five per cent of the capital investment.

The real test lies in the speedy and honest implementation of the project. And that is where doubts take hold.

Hardly ever has a project of this size and complexity been completed on sched ule and within the estimated cost. Close at hand is the example of the much smaller and simpler Lyari Expressway. It was to be completed in two years. It is now in its sixth year and perhaps will take two more.

The rate of commission — another name for embezzlement — is now said to be 30 per cent of the cost. Gone are the benign days of the legendary and ‘legitimate’ 10 per cent. It is no longer confined to bribery or waste. Political establishments and homesteads, here and abroad, jaunts and feasts of leaders and hangers-on all have to be taken care of.

Pakistan’s political parties have no endowments, nor do their members pay a large fee. Slush funds are also needed, on occasion, to bring down a government. Money cannot be stolen from the treasury all the time.

Since the KCR is the best and, perhaps, the last chance for Karachi to have a mass transit system, maybe the officials and contractors employed on the project can be persuaded to take a vow not to siphon off funds and to strive to complete the work within the stipulated period of four years.

Whether just one or all three levels of government are partners in the venture is immaterial. What matters is that the professionals executing the project should not be in any way beholden to any government, nor should they be politicians’ nominees. One has to be wary on this count when embezzlement is alleged even in the building of houses for the homeless of Balakot affected by the 2005 earthquake. No wonder foreign agencies now have second thoughts about the pledges they made to help the families displaced by extremist violence in Swat.

Fast electric trains unhampered by level crossings going full circle every six minutes on a 43-km dual track would surely make transit corridors unnecessary, especially after branch lines are added in the second phase. Enlarging and modernising the city’s bus fleet for feeder routes, however, would remain a necessity.

Karachi’s bus fleet is obsolete, mechanically unfit, polluting and wholly inadequate. It has been almost three years since Ecnec approved a scheme for 8,000 CNG buses for major cities (Karachi’s indicated share was 5,000), with a 25 per cent subsidy. Not one bus has come on the road so far. It was left to Karachi’s confident nazim to stake municipal money, but on no more than 50 buses. That is a drop in the ocean but has indeed made travel fast and economical on the routes on which these buses ply.

The KCR could fail if buses are not available at all stations where the trains halt to carry passengers to their onward destinations. Finally and crucially, the circular railway, however speedy, punctual or economical, would not be financially viable if it were to rely entirely on the fares commuters can afford to pay or are willing to pay.

City mass transport — rail or bus — all over the world is subsidised. It is viewed as a social function of the government and not a business ven ture. The economic gains are invisible but many. Getting to work on time is just one of them.

The KCR will be in trouble and bus transport will continue to deteriorate if the government does not find a way to subsidise both. Secondly, Pakistan, like the rest of the world, must convince the private sector to manage transport services while the government invests in infrastructure.

To encourage bus service, the price of vehicles can be subsidised and fares adjusted from time to time to keep pace with operating costs. Shahbaz Sharif’s first government did this in Lahore with some measure of success.

Wage earners queuing for wheat flour and sugar and then jostling to get into a rickety bus may not bring a government down, but they will remain a threat to public order. This threat looms larger in Karachi than elsewhere for it is the only megalopolis in the world where public transport is run by a mafia. Where the state shirks responsibility mafias take over. In Karachi they provide a service which the state or civic authority should but does not. ¦

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Source: Dawn

#31
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Japan Bank to release soft term loan for KCR
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Karachi

The newly-approved Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) project has received a soft-term credit facility from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation. This was disclosed by the Economic Minister at the Pakistan Embassy in Japan, Iftikhar Babar, who has been the driving force in coordinating between JICA, the railways ministry, and the EAD and the Planning Commission for the past one year to get this project approved as soon as possible.

He said that the JBIC will issue a US$1,600m loan on 0.2 per cent interest rate, repayable in 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years. The project is being supervised by the Karachi Urban transport Company, along with a 60-per cent share of the Pakistan Railways (60 per cent), Sindh government (25 per cent) and CDGK (15 per cent).

The main features of the projects Babar said are daily service to 700,000 commuters; 22 elevated km (out of a total of 55 km) to avoid trespassing and crossings; 11 elevated railway stations; a six-km-long underground connection to the Karachi airport; a 3.5-km-long tunnel to connect three railway stations between Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Jauhar; six-minute waiting time between trains at peak hours; an e-ticketing or smart card system to allow only paying passengers to use these facilities.




Source: The News

#32
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Karachi Circular Railway upgrading approved
12 October 2009

PAKISTAN: Conversion of the Karachi Circular Railway into a high-capacity commuter line is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010, a decade after trains stopped. The revival project approved by the National Economic Council on September 3 could see services resume in 2013.

Opened in two phases in 1964 and 1970, the 296 km KCR starts from Karachi City station and loops around the west of the city to rejoin the main line at Drigh Road, 145 km from the terminus. It closed in 1999 as an economy measure, but there have been several attempts at revival.

The current project is backed by Japan International Co-operation Agency, which has agreed soft loans to fund the bulk of the work. Responsibility for reviving the KCR has been delegated to Karachi Urban Transport Corp, established in May 2008; this is owned 60% by PR, 25% by the Sindh provincial government and 15% by the city. KURC is likely to appoint an operating concessionaire.

As well as double-tracking throughout, much of the route is to be rebuilt to eliminate level crossings. Consultants have recommended an extra pair of tracks between Drigh Road and Karachi City to segregate KCR services from the main line, increasing the cost from Rs875m to Rs15bn. There will be a 4 km tunnel through Gulistan-e-Johar plus 225 km on viaduct, leaving just 166 km at ground level. The 433 km line will serve 27 stations, of which 11 will be elevated and two underground.

Electrification, resignalling and automated fare collection are proposed. A fleet of EMUs will be needed, with a crush loading capacity of 1 400 passengers. Trains are expected to run at 6 min headways, giving a nominal capacity of 700 000 passengers/day.




Source: Railway Gazette

#33
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Japan to provide KCR Loan After Encroachers' Resettlement
ISLAMABAD (November 21 2009): Japan will provide $1.457 billion soft loan for Karachi Circular Railway project (KCR) only after completion of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) of affectees/encroachers. Sources said that officials of the KCR have told the National Assembly standing committee planning and development that Japan would not provide the loan for KCR without completion of RAP survey.

The study for the settlement of encroachers. in consultation with the Jica, is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2009. About 300 acres land of Board of Revenue of Sindh at Jumma Goth has been identified for the resettlement project for affectees/encroachers.

The resettlement plan study would be displayed at Jica website for World Bank and Jica review ahead of WB appraisal mission. The loan agreement would take place in July-August 2010 while the study/design loan might be treated separately by Jica for completion of preliminary work.

The meeting was told that final study to revive KCR--constructed and opened for traffic by Pakistan Railway in1964--was conducted by the donor agency, Jica, and the estimated cost of the revival project is $1558.8 million. Jica will contribute 93.5 percent funding, while remaining 6.5 percent will be borne by the implementing agency, Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC).

Giving details on implementation status, the meeting was apprised that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study has been approved, while the RAP study would be completed on November 30, 2009. The KUTC has invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for validation of final report prepared by Saprof and fixed December 2009 as the last date for submission of proposals. The Satellite Imagery of KCR route has been completed by Suparco, while route preliminary alignment work, in progress, would be completed by December 30, 2009.

The allocation of 300 acres of land at Jumma Goth by Board of Revenue, Government of Sindh for Resettlement of Project Affected Persons is being awaited as well as release of funds of Rs 817 million for the year 2009-10 against the allocation of Rs 750 million in Public Sector Development Projects (PSDP) and Rs 60 million in annual development plan of Sindh government. The implementing agency has requested the federal government for duty waiver on imported equipments as well as in relending mark up. The KUC has proposed the same relending rate as the mark-up of lending agency to KUC

#34
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KCR annual revenue estimated at Rs 9.123 billion
ZAHEER ABBASI

ISLAMABAD (November 28 2009): The annual revenue earning of Karachi Circular Railway Project has been estimated as Rs 9.123 billion, with Rs 4.327 billion rail and Rs 4.8 billion non-rail revenue. Sources said that deducting Rs 2.881 billion operation and maintenance (O&M) cost, annual gross revenue surplus of KCR has been estimated at Rs 6.246 billion.

Out of Rs 6.246 billion, Rs 4 billion would be earmarked for repayment of loan, while depreciation cost has been estimated at Rs 1.6 billion. Rs 0.646 billion has been estimated as total net revenue surplus from the project. The proposed completion period of the project is three years, on commencement by the end of 2010, with $1.457 billion soft loan from Japan and $101.3 billion by Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC). The loan of donor agency, Jica, @ 0.2 percent mark-up would be repayable in 40 years, including 10 years grace period.

The study for the settlement of encroachers, in consultation with the Jica, is currently underway and is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2009. About 300 acres land of the Board of Revenue, Sindh, at Jumma Goth, has been identified for the resettlement project of affectees/encroachers.

After completion, the resettlement plan study would be displayed at Jica website prior to WB appraisal mission visit to Pakistan. The loan agreement is expected to take place in July-August 2010 while it is likely that Jica would separately treat the study/design loan so that preliminary work could be completed. The route's preliminary alignment work would be completed by December 30, 2009 while the allocation of 300 acres of land by Board of Revenue

Government of Sindh for RRA is being taken up. They said that Sindh government and City District Government Karachi have signed Terms of References (ToRs) in October, 2009 of the transport study of City of Karachi with JICA. Priority Corridors-1&II will be identified on completion of study while financing and implementation of another study will be carried out for the Identified corridors-I and II by Jica.




Source: Business Recorder

#35
moltke

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Karachi Circular Railway to be on track by 2013

KARACHI: The work on the revival of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) would start in 2010 and it would start operation for public in three years. According to KCR project director, on completion of the project, an international operator of repute would be appointed for operation and maintenance of KCR on the pattern of the successful role model of Singapore Mass Rail Transit. The donor Japan International Cooperation Agency had sponsored a final study Special Assistance for Project Formation for the project and the final report was received in April 2009 with modified estimated cost from $872.316 million to $1558.8 million. As per the study, the route length of KCR would be 43.12km: elevated track increased to 22.49km, about 4km tunnel and 16.63km on ground. app

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#36
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KCR revival delayed due to MDA-PR land dispute
Monday, March 29, 2010
By Imtiaz Ali

Karachi

The government’s efforts to revive Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) are reportedly being hampered by land issue between the Malir Development Authority (MDA) and the Pakistan Railways (PR). Donors are insisting on rehabilitating affected people prior to issuing loans, The News has learnt.

The main issue is that the PR’s land has been encroached upon, and JICA, the prospective donor, is insisting on arrangements for the settlement of the affected people before it provides financial assistance for the KCR, Land Utilisation Additional Secretary-III Dr Azhar Hussain said.

The dispute between the MDA and the PR over land in Bin Qasim Town had continued since 1982, and the chief minister’s advisor on planning and development, Dr Kaiser Bengali, had recently called a meeting to resolve the land issue. The MDA was of the view that it would withdraw its petition from the Sindh High Court if it were provided with alternative land and money for infrastructure development, Dr Hussain said.

Meanwhile, sources said that following the meeting about the KCR chaired by Dr Bengali on February 6, another meeting, chaired by Dr Hussain, was held on March 12 to expedite efforts to resolve the land issue.

It was decided that the MDA and the PR authorities will ‘urgently’ withdraw their cases in view of the decisions taken in the February 6 meeting. According to official sources and documents available with The News, the MDA has agreed to submit to a competent authority, a proposal pertaining to its land withdrawal, alternative land and incurred expenditure.

It was also decided that the City District Government Karachi and the Board of Revenue will continue to search for a ‘suitable’ alternative piece of land in lieu of the settlement of the land under question (350 acres in Deh Khanto,Bin Qasim Town). This land was selected for the rehabilitation of the people affected by the KCR project.

Officials said that the land dispute between the MDA and the PR was discussed at length during the meeting. The MDA representative informed the participants of the meeting about the withdrawal of the case pending before the SHC. He also raised the question of alternative land in lieu of withdrawal from 350 acres in Deh Khanto, and expenditure incurred so far on the land.

The Bin Qasim Town additional district officer (revenue) and Mukhtiarkar (revenue) informed the meeting that a piece of land as an alternative was identified in Deh Kotierero. This land, which belongs to the Sindh government was, however, declared ‘unsuitable’ by the MDA.

The land utilisation department will play an ‘active role’ after the withdrawal of the case and the approval of the Sindh chief minister for processing the case, an official privy to the decisions taken during the February 6 meeting told The News.




Source: The News

#37
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‘$900m Japanese loan for KCR revival soon’
By Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, June 12: Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that all formalities for acquiring a $900 million loan from Japan for the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway have been completed and the work on the project will begin soon.

He said this in response to a question about the KCR project at his post-budget news conference at the Chief Minister’s House on Saturday.

The CM said that the ground work on the KCR project would start soon after the signing of the guarantee documents by the federal and provincial governments.

He said that Japan offered a soft loan for the KCR project with mere 0.2 per cent service charges.

He said that the Sindh government was an equity partner with its 25 per cent share in the Karachi Urban Transport Company. Other shareholders in the project are the federal government and the Karachi city government with their 60 and 15 per cent share, respectively.

In reply to a question regarding setting up of the Sindh Bank, Mr Shah said that although enough progress had been made in this regard, the requirement of Rs7 billion paid-up capital set by the State Bank of Pakistan was yet to be fulfilled.

He said besides the provincial government, the private sector was also ready to make investment for the purpose. However, the Sindh government had sought the help of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani over the issue of paid-up capital. Mr Shah conceded that the government could not utilise more than 75 per cent amount of the total development allocations because of late releases from the federal government.

Earlier, the CM said that the new budget was prepared keeping in view long-term development planning instead of following the traditional approach of short-term projects identified by individuals.

He said that in view of major challenges, a concept plan and a three-year programme was prepared to address the urgent structural issues.

He said that the National Finance Commission award had provided a greater fiscal space. He also conceded that there were certain bottlenecks, which needed to be sorted out with the federal government for the full implementation of the NFC award.

Chief Minister’s Adviser on Planning and Development Dr Kaiser Bengali and Information Adviser Jamil Soomro were also present.




Source: Dawn

#38
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very informative i like karachi and wish that karachi will be fine in few days InshAllah

#39
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Pending project: For circular railway, no silver lining on the horizon

By Sohail Khattak / Creative: Muhammad SuhaibPublished: February 2, 2013

KARACHI:
Traffic woes in the city are likely to last another year as the Karachi Circular Railway project is nowhere near completion.

Hefty amounts were approved in the budget, presentations were given, meetings were held and promises were made from time to time but, officials believe, it will take another year before the groundwork starts. The project is, nevertheless, vital to ease traffic chaos in Karachi.

Even after getting a mark-up waiver from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) against the $2.4 billion loan for the transportation project, the major obstacle remains the acquisition of the loan itself from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The Japanese firm is financing almost the entire revival cost, 93.5 per cent, of the Karachi Circular Railway with a pay-back period of 40 years, including a 10-year grace period. The remaining investment, $169.6 million, will be pooled by different stakeholders with the highest share of 60 per cent from Pakistan Railways, 25 per cent from the Sindh government and 15 per cent of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

“Jica’s loan appraisal mission will visit Pakistan around April and the funds may arrive in the current fiscal year,” speculates Ijaz Hussain Khilji, the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) managing director. The body was established to manage the revival of circular railway and its operations.

But only after getting the money, work will start on the resettlement of the population that will be displaced when the railway lines running through heavily encroached lands are cleared, he said.

In the resettlement plan, 4,653 housing units spread over 283 acres of land along the National Highway will be constructed for the affected families.

Encroachments along the circular railway tracks are one of the biggest hindrances. All illegal settlements will be removed in the first phase and the people will be given an alternative housing option, Khilji says.

“It has become the aim of my life to revive circular railway within my lifetime and provide the best form of transport,” he said. The project is expected to complete by 2018.

All mega projects take about five to seven years to begin as different studies are carried out, the KUTC official said. “All hurdles have been removed. We are just waiting for the funds to arrive.”

A new dual track of standard gauge will be laid for 43.1 kilometres (km) along with the old circular railway tracks, said another KUTC officer.

To sustain uninterrupted traffic flow in densely populated areas, sections of tracks that are 22.8 km long will be elevated, 3.9 km will be tunnelled, while the remaining 16.3 km will be at the ground level. The tracks will be fenced from both sides and electrically powered, Air-conditioned passenger trains will also operate at an interval of six minutes.

The trains will run at an average speed of 40 km/h, with the maximum going up to 100 km/h. Around 700,000 passengers will use the trains every day from the 27 stations across the city and will be linked to main roads. The stations will be equipped with computerised ticketing systems, parking areas, cafés, elevators and automated gates.

A bus shuttle service especially for the train passengers is also under consideration but till then the existing public transport buses will take the commuters to the stations.

While the Karachi Circular Railway scheme was first recommended in the Karachi master plan of 1952, the trains actually began operating in 1964. Beginning from the Drigh Road railway station, the trains passed through Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, SITE, Baldia, Lyari, Kharadar and finally ended at City Station. Eventually the circular railway shut down in December 1999 due to lack of finances.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.


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#40
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Tardy public transport stunts Karachi uplift
Karachi, Poor public transport system in Karachi is main hindrance in speedy socio-economic uplift of Karachi and for a fast-paced development of the mega city it is must that the rail-based public transport system be made operational on priority basis, say business and citizen rights circles.

All Pakistan Organisation of Small Traders and Cottage Industry (APOST&CI) Karachi chapter President Mehmood Hamid said one of the main reasons of stunt progress of the city is lack of a reliable and efficient public transport system. He said no mega urban city is world relies on just one mode of public transport and besides buses and mini-buses, efficient public transport system of trams, metro and surface urban trains are fully used to cater the needs of urban public transport. He said there is a dire need to revive the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).

Huge increase in commuter load in Karachi and failure of privately run road based public transport sector to respond it has increased the miseries of travelers, stressing the need for redoubling efforts to expedite snail-paced KCR revival project. This mega project with a capacity of catering the needs of millions of commuters had been put on the back burner for decades. However, for last few years Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) has been working on revival of this important project with the support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The KCR began its operation in the year 1964 from Drigh Road to Wazir Mansion station. In 1980 s its operation began for the circle section (30 kilometers of single track with double track right of way) and a main line double track section of 14 kilometers. However, in December 1999 after many setbacks and loss of revenue the KCR operation was ended. Later, in March 2005, its operation was partially begun on the main line to Karachi City station and in May 2005 up to Wazir Mansion station.

Altaf Shakoor, president of Pasban, a citizen rights organization, said the KCR was deliberately failed to give unassailable monopoly to private road based public transport runners. He said had the Pakistan Railway administration given proper attention to the issues of KCR, today the rail-based public transport in Karachi would have been as competitive and profitable as Mumbai local rail system.

A report titled Report of the Task Force on Revival of Karachi Circular Railway, published in November 2004 identified the following reasons for the cessation of operations of KCR: Longer running time, less frequency of trains, lack of punctuality, inadequate rail-road integration, shortage of investment in rail infrastructure and rolling stock, and unjustified priority to develop road network by concerned development agencies due to urban sprawl.

The objectives of the Karachi Circular Railway revival project are remove the deficiencies in the past performance of KCR and bring in reforms in the management system to strengthen the existing KCR infrastructure; to restore the status of KCR as a viable system with aim to relieve the congestion by reducing the use of roads by commuters specially on corridors within the KCR circle where the process of urbanization has had its adverse impact on land use.

It would also result in increase access of the population resident along the corridor to social services and markets leading to improved livelihood, and facilitate safe, secure and speedy inlet and outlet from within the CBD to other corridors of vehicular traffic viz. RCD Highway, Northern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Port Qasim, Steel Mills, National Highway N5 and Super Highway E9 besides providing links to the Lyari Expressway. The KCR revival would upgrade and modernize the infrastructure facilities of the fast growing megapolis by recognizing and removing the deficiencies.

Mehmood Hamid in Karachi public transport is more or less suspended for three days a week due to load shedding at gas stations. He said during these gas-less day Karachi commuters face a lot of problems. He said if the KCR is made operational the city commuters would feel a great relief. He said not only the present closed loop of the KCR be opened but it should also extended to new areas.

A feasibility study on Revival of Karachi Circular Railway conducted by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in 2006 pointed out that most of the urban railways that are being operated in major cities around the world are using a 1,435 mm track gauge. KCR will not be the only urban rail system in Karachi but there are plans to introduce such systems to other corridors as well. Therefore, 1,435 mm track gauge should be used to enable reciprocal operation with these railways systems.

The study said as an operating interval of 10 minutes or less is required, all tracks should be double track. KCR has already obtained the right of way for double track. The main line used by Pakistan Railways also the right of way for double track for KCR. Therefore, KCR should be restored to be a dedicated double track railway. It suggested that an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains should be introduced to increase the traveling speed and acceleration and deceleration speeds, as all the urban railways systems used in major cities throughout the world, including those in Asia, are Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains systems.

Since most urban railway systems in the world are electrified by DC systems, DC Electrification system should be used in the revival of KCR Project. KCR has 22 level crossings. Since KCR is currently not in operation, these crossings do not cause traffic jams. However, elimination of all level crossings is absolutely essential before restarting operation on KCR. While CDGK is dedicated to construct flyovers and underpasses, limited funds have hindered the implementation of these plans. When investigating into this revival project, consideration should be given to elevating certain sections of the railway route.

The study also suggested that location of the stations on KCR should be re-investigated in order to make them functional connecting points with other modes of transportation. Such an examination should be taken into consideration such as the acquiring of land that would enable a transportation plaza near the station and the distance between stations. Moreover, there is a need to integrate the KCR revival plan with urban planning.

The Revival of Karachi Circular Railway Project shares a close relationship with the improvements of the corridors planning, urban planning and other such future community betterment projects for Karachi, so the establishment of KCR revival plan must be done in consideration of these plans.

Major cities around the world have dedicated airport railways that connect their airports with city centers. Karachi should also consider providing rail service to the Karachi International Airport. If KCR is extended to provide service to the Karachi International Airport, KCR will start to function as the face of Karachi. It is therefore part of the revival of KCR to be connected to the airport providing swift and reliable service between city and airport.

The KCR is a 29.32 km single-track, wide-gauge railway that originates from Drigh Road station on the PR main line and, after crossing Sharah-e-Faisal short of Karachi airport, it passes through populated areas of Gulistan-e-Johar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, Site, Baldia, Lyari, Kharadar, Mithadar and finally touches Karachi City Station. It has 16 stations, 22 level crossings in its 29.32-kilometre outer length. When the 14 km section from Karachi City to the Drigh Road start point is added, these sections of track form a circular railway that is approximately 43 km long. The study proposes extension in the existing route from the Drigh Station to Karachi International Airport which shall be a value added feature of this service and therefore shall be requiring new alignment and layout in the area where rail track has been nonexistent.

Altaf Shakoor said Karachi commuters are being cruelly exploited by private transporters, who run their vehicles are cheap CNG but charge fares based on use of diesel. He said during law and order situation private buses and minibuses vanish from roads leaving commuters in a fix. He said with the revival of KCR the commuters would have a dependable, all-weather, fast and cost effective public transport system which Karachi badly needs and surely deserves.


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