CM Murad visits train crash site, demands federal probe

KARACHI-Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday presided over the 11th meeting of the Provincial Coordination & Implementation Committee (PCIC) and decided to take over the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) to start Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) Project and resolved land issues of Malir Expressway to speed up work on the project.
The PCIC meeting was attended by provincial ministers Imtiaz Shaikh, Sharjeel Memon, Nasir Shah, Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Special Assistant to CM Qasim Naveed, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi. Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, MD SSWMB Imtiaz Shah and others. The Chief Minister was told that the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) would undertake the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. The company was still under the control of the federal government. The Chief Minister said that he would talk to the Prime Minister to take over the KUTC which was responsible to fulfill the documentation of the KCR project.
The CM was also told that Pakistan Railways had demanded equal value of land from the Sindh government to handover the Right of Way (RoW) of KCR. At this, the Chief Minister said that the Sindh government had given land to the railway authorities purely for railway purposes. “The KCR is also a train and it would operate on the same track, then why the railway authorities were demanding value of the land,” he questioned.
The Chief Minister directed the DS Railways, present in the meeting, to resolve the issue and give the go-ahead to the provincial authorities so that it could be communicated to the Chinese authorities to initiate the KCR project. It was pointed out that the National Railways Administration (NRA), China required to conduct an updated feasibility study of the KCR Project. At this the P&D Chairman told the CM that the feasibility study has been done and sent to Chinese authorities.
The chief minister said that now the Chinese authorities have to make a Framework agreement to start the project. 
Malir Expressway is 3x3 lane, 38.75 KM high-speed controlled access road starting from Jam Sadiq Bridge and ends before the Kathore interchange near M-9. It has six interchanges to be constructed which shall connect major traffic arteries of the city. The Project is divided into two segments, 15 and 24 km respectively with a construction time of 30 Months. The first section from Jam Sadiq Bridge to Quaidabad is to be constructed within 1.5 Years (18 Months).
The completion of the first segment (till Quaidabad) is envisaged by the end of the current year. Construction activities are in progress on Interchanges at EBM Causeway, Shah Faisal, and Bridges over Nallah and Chakora. The Construction activities on road pavement in the first segment are at an advanced stage. NOC of Pakistan Railways (PR) – Objection of PR on design drawings was again discussed and sent back to PR on 1st August 2023.
Construction of Embankment on almost 15 Km out of 24 KMs in progress in the second segment - from Quaidabad to Kathore. The Design related issues pertaining to the 2ndSegment – Right Of way (ROW) passes through Samo, Lasi and Shafi Goths, the dense population settlement, envisaging removal/ compensation of structures. It has been worked out that 138.2 acres of land would be acquired in the second segment with a tentative land acquisition cost of Rs 3.7 billion. 
The Chief Minister directed the P&D dept not to disturb the people living in the villages but construct a 2 km elevated structure (bridge) on the left side of the villages on the existing alignment - at the outer periphery of the right bank of Malir River - bypassing Samo, Lasi, and Old Shafi Goths to avoid land acquisition and relocation. “The provincial govt would pay for the construction of the bridge,” he said. 
The CM directed the works dept to complete the first segment of the expressway by the end of November 2023.
The CM was told that the Link Road connects National Highway N-5 to Motorway M-9, a 22 km long, four-lane dual carriageway project. Commercial Corridor providing upcountry access to Port Qasim, Industrial areas of Landhi, Korangi, and Steel Mill. There is a grade intersection at N5 and Grade separated Interchange at M-9. The construction of the M-9 Interchange with slip road would cost around Rs2 billion. The construction of two bridges over M9 – N5 Link Road was undertaken in the additional Scope of M9 – N5 Link Road.
The CM directed the works & Services dept to coordinate with the PPP unit and resolve all the issues and start work on war footings. The meeting also discussed Mass Transit Projects, Yellow Line, and Redline. Minister Transport Sharjeel Memon told the meeting that the project would be started with the assistance of the World Bank at a cost of over Rs60 billion. The Yellow Line project is 14.3 km long with 14.3 km at grade, 3.5 km of six underpasses, 1.1 km of two new bridges, one old flyover of 650 meters, and one new 1.45 km flyover. The project has been divided into six packages. Presently the bidding document was under preparation. The CM directed the Mass Transit dept to expedite the documentation and start the work at the earliest. 
The Redline project has been started with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It is a 24-km project starting from Malir halt to Numasih.

Sharjeel Memon told the meeting that the work on Lot-1 (Mosmyat to Malir Halt) is 4.5 km and the physical progress of the work is nine percent. The progress on Lot II (Numaish to Mosmyat) is 8.5 percent. The progress on the Lot-III (Municipal Park to Tower) and the installation of the Biogas plant is being made. The land for Biogas has been acquired and minor civil work has been started. Tender documents are being prepared. The CM directed the Mass Transit dept to speed up work on Lot-I & II and issue the tender document at the earliest for Lot-III.

Meanwhile Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah arrived at Nawabshah on a short visit Soon after his arrival, the Chief Minister visited the emergency ward of Peoples Medical University Hospital and checked bed to bed of the victims of Hazara Express tragedy.
The Divisional Commissioner Nawabshah Muhammad Abbas Baloch briefed the Chief Minister over the tragic train incident. Later talking to the media, the Chief Minister said that as per information gathered 30 casualties out of three are women and one is admitted at Sakrand while 29 dead bodies were brought to PMC.` He said that total injured passengers were 110, which might increase as passengers were still stranded in bogies.
CM said the ill-fated Hazara Express met with an accident near Sarhari which is a very tragic incident. He said that the cause of the accident could be ascertained after complete investigation of the mishap. He directed hospital administration to provide better treatment facilities to injured people and also. appealed to people of Nawabshah, particularly media persons to vacate the hospital and give time to doctors for treatment of victims. He said that doctors have also advised him to avoid visiting the ICU however he has appealed to the media to vacate the hospital and also tell people to give space to doctors and medical staff.
CM urged rushing people to give space to relatives of injured and dead
passengers to visit them. CM advised doctors for better treatment of the victims. Doctors said that Peoples Medical University Hospital has enough capacity to treat the victim but in more specialized treatment the victim could be shifted to Karachi or another hospital.
Murad said that he would visit the incident site. He said that He has talked to Khawaja Saad Rafique who said that some passengers are still stranded in one of the bogies where rescue work is in progress adding the two relief work trains one from Kotri and one from Rohi have left for the incident site. He said that a complete list of deceased passengers would soon be released for information of grieved relatives.
CM instructed hospital administration to give briefing to the media regarding the prevailing situation of treatment after every hour. On other hand PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro expressed deep grief over the Hazara Express tragedy and appealed to party leaders and workers to extend helping hand for immediate medical assistance and treatment to victims. Nisar Khuhro said that he equally shares the grief with the relatives of train victims. Regarding investigation into the incident, Khuhro said that the incident requires a complete investigation.

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