Karachi Circular Railway Project Costs Reduced by 76%

The Planning Commission has rationalized the scope and cost of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project and reduced from $2.583 billion to $1.971 billion, it is learnt.

Official documents revealed that a draft summary for Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) at the rationalized cost has been prepared and would be considered in the next meeting of ECNEC.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its meeting held on 3rd May, 2017 recommended the project for consideration of ECNEC subject to rationalization of scope and cost by a committee with certain recommendations. After approval the project would come into the implementation phase. It is now a provincial government project which would be financed by the Chinese government while federal government would provide the guarantee.

The scope and cost rationalized and reduced from $2,583.04 million including Foreign Exchange Component (FEC) of $2,414.54 million to $1,971 million including FEC of $1,971 million equivalent to Rs 210.897 billion all in FEC proposed to be funded through Chinese loan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. The federal government earmarked Rs 2.50 million in the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for 2017-18.

Transport & Mass Transit Department (TMTD) of Sindh is the sponsoring agency while Sindh Mass Transit Cell (SMTC), Transport & Mass Transit Department (TMTD)/ Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) are executing agencies of the project. The project is expected to be completed by September 2020 i.e. in 36 months.

The project is consist on the revival/construction of 43.2 km standard gauge (1,435 mm) double railway track (14.945 km at-grade & 28.18 km elevated) with allied structures on the existing land reserved for KCR with allied facilities. There will be a total 24 stations including 14 elevated and 10 at-grade stations. Further procurement of 162 locomotives having seating capacity of 250 with DC traction power supply to be provided through third rail running along the track is part of the project.

The projected ridership is estimated at 550,000 passengers per day (26,280 passengers per hour per direction) in the opening year 2020 with projected demand of 749,541 by the year 2030 passengers per day and 915,876 by the year 2040. Initially 162 locomotives will be procured to operate 27 sets of train (6 locos each).

The proposed KCR route shall be constructed on modern lines along existing (abandoned) track, which runs through the heart of Karachi’s various densely populated areas such as Shah Faisal Colony, COD, Gulistan-e-Johar, N1PA, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Federal B Area, Manghopir, SITE, Baldia, Orangi, Wazir Mansion, Chanesar Goth etc.

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