Would the KCR have solved Karachi’s traffic problems?
It would make travelling much faster
Karachi is a city where people from all over the country come to seek employment. With a population of more than 14 million, the city is becoming more crowded with each passing day. The Karachi Circular Railway is a project that has been in the planning stage for many years but there has been little to no progress. The KCR started its operations in 1964. However, by 1984 mini-buses became the preferred way of traveling in the city. The KCR finally closed down in 1999 due to lack of management. With the growing population, the flow of traffic increased on Karachi’s roads and the traffic situation worsened. Related: KCR affected residents to get accommodation next year: Saeed Ghani In 2004, the government ordered the revival of the KCR. The Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) assisted in the project and conducted a survey. According to the survey, 43km railway tracks were to be constructed across the city, of which 22.86km were to be elevated, 3.93km were to be underground and 16.33km were to be surface tracks. More than 100 trains would have been operated. It would have reduced the time taken to travel from one place to another tremendously. Here’s how much time would have been saved: Currently, it takes approximately 60 minutes to travel from North Nazimabad to Karachi Cantt and similarly from NIPA to Baldia by bus. With the KCR, the duration of the journey would be less than 30 minutes. It takes around 65 minutes by bus to reach II Chundrigar Road from Drigh Road. Through the KCR, the journey would be completed in 19 minutes. The journey from Baldia to Habib Bank Plaza is 49 minutes long by bus, but by the KCR it would take only 10 minutes. Related: SC wants KCR functional within a month The distance from Baldia to Drigh Road is 80 minutes long by bus, but would be just 28 minutes by KCR. All of this would have been made possible if the KCR was operational. On May 9, the Supreme Court had called for the restoration of the KCR. The court also ordered the accommodation of people whose houses were demolished as part of the drive. A SC bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heard a petition seeking the restoration of Karachi to its original shape and the restoration of the KCR at the SC Karachi Registry in May. The bench asked the Railways secretary to clear the track of encroachments in two weeks. It asked why the KCR was not restored despite its orders in January. The bench also directed the chief minister of Sindh, Karachi commissioner and Railway authorities to make the KCR functional within a month. Despite the pressure from the court, only 1% work has been done, which includes land acquisition. Follow SAMAA English on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.