Karachi Circular Railway revived after 20 years

Karachi: After remaining suspended for around 20 years, the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) service was partially revived on Thursday.

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Federal Railways Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad inaugurated the intra-city train service and announced that people could use the commuter rail service for one day free of charge on Friday. Initially, the commuter rail service will operate between Pipri Railway Station from suburbs of Karachi to City Station in the downtown area using the main railway track.

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Ahmad also announced to slash per head fare of the train from Rs 50 to 30 while labourers and workers would get the facility of using the commuter service on a monthly discounted fare of Rs 750. He said that after 15 days, the operation of the KCR would be extended by another 14 kilometres. He gave credit to the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Sindh government for the partial revival of the KCR.

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He said that authorities required some more time to clear rest of the track of KCR that had been under illegal occupation for past 25 years. He said that new coaches had been assembled by the railways in the past eight months for the revival of KCR. He said that each coach had been built at a cost of Rs nine million. He said that so far Rs 17 million had been spent on the revival of the KCR. He said the officials and labourers of Railways had assembled these coaches.

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Problems of Karachi

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He said that KCR service would be modernized by the government in one year’s time. He said the government had been doing its best to resolve the problems of Karachi.

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The coaches are of white and blue colour having a red stripe to make them stand out among rest of the inter-city trains. Each coach has a capacity of accommodating 100 passengers as seating is for 64 passengers while 36 persons could use the rail service while standing as handles are present for them. The commuter rail service is without air-conditioning system while it has wide widows for ventilation.

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It is worth mentioning here that KCR service had started in 1964 and came to a halt in 1999 mainly due to deterioration in service and acute financial losses incurred by the Railways.

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