KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Pakistan Railways secretary to produce the approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) regarding the inclusion of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the federal and provincial authorities shifted the responsibility to revive the KCR on each other.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed expressed serious resentments over the federal and provincial authorities for not complying with its May 2019 order to revive the KCR and at one stage he warned to put the chief minister of Sindh and the railways secretary on contempt notice.
At the outset of the hearing, when the bench asked the officials about the implementation of its earlier order, Sindh advocate general Salman Talibuddin submitted that the KCR project had been made part of CPEC in 2017 and the Sindh government had made a framework agreement and sent it to the federal government thrice as the provincial government could not directly deal with the contractor, adding that now it was the responsibility of the federal authorities to expedite it.
The railways secretary argued that the railways had already handed over the right of way of the KCR to the provincial government.
Comes down hard on railway and Sindh officials for taking its earlier orders casually
The chief justice came down hard on both the officials and observed that there was no will on the part of the Sindh government and the railways to revive the KCR as they were taking the earlier court order very casually.
At this point, he warned that the court would put the chief minister and the railways secretary on contempt notice for not honouring its previous order. He observed that the provincial government was not willing to undertake this project.
The bench was informed that some high-rise buildings on the railways land have not been demolished yet. It directed the authorities to remove all the encroachments made on the KCR stations and railways land.
The bench was informed that Ecnec had approved the revival of the KCR in 2017 under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor framework.
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2020