ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, after eventually losing faith, the Supreme Court instituted proceedings against Railway Secretary Habibur Rehman Gillani and Sindh Syed Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah for an alleged delay in the completion of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) scheme.
Pakistan’s Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed warned that things wouldn’t end here, but that anyone would be named by the court, including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah if necessary Kcr.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar had taken up a suo motu case concerning the monumental damages suffered by the Pakistan Railways (PR) by a three-judge Supreme Court bench including the chief justice.
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The court provided notices of cause to the railway secretary and the chief secretary of Sindh, ordering them to appear in person before the court after two weeks at the next hearing of the case and stating the reasons for the alleged delay in completion of the KCR scheme.
The court lamented the inability of the railway secretary to execute the previous court instructions. Justice Ahsan said it should be given in writing to anyone who wants to explain something.
The court had previously warned the Pakistan Railways (PR) and the Sindh government not to extend the court’s timetable and ensure arrangements for the KCR to operate.
Last February, during one of the hearings, the Supreme Court recommended that work on the KCR be started within six months.
The court was then told that the FWO had completed the survey for the building of 11 underpasses on the KCR road, while work on the remaining 13 underpasses would also be completed shortly.
The court was informed that the necessary preparations had been carried out while the design was in progress and that the contract for the building of the underpasses would be awarded after the FWO produced a design schedule and calculated the cost of construction.
In order to finish the necessary work and commence work on the proposal, the court was asked to give another six weeks.
The railway secretary told the court on Tuesday that the PR had received photographs from SUPARCO showing intrusions on the property on the KCR track route. In addition, the railways also provided letters to the FWO, which had to construct the underpasses.
At this, the chief justice noted that the court issued notices of contempt of court because while time was given to render the KCR project working, the PR refused to stick to the time frame provided to it.
Apparently, it seems that the KCR project was deliberately delayed by PR and neither the railways nor the Sindh government were following the court orders, said the chief justice.
As the provincial government was enforcing the court order, Attorney General of Sindh Salman Talibuddin asked the court to give him an opportunity to explain the issue. The court, however, disregarded the appeal and gave notices of show cause to both the railway secretary and the Sindh chief secretary.
The Sindh government had told the court earlier during the last hearing that it had taken measures to eradicate intrusions and numerous sites had been removed even though in some of the areas there were intrusions on both sides of the railway track and these intrusions would be eliminated eventually.
The KCR revival project entails converting the old KCR into a structure of public transit. It is estimated that the overall length of the railway line would be 50 km. The route of the old KCR was opened in 1964 and began from Drigh Road and ended in downtown Karachi. Since it suffered major losses, the KCR ceased operations in 1999.