ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday directed the Sindh government to remove encroachment along the route of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and rehabilitate the people, who would be displaced from these sites.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the suo moto case related to operation of KCR in the economic hub of Pakistan. The bench directed the Secretary Railways to submit the progress report on the next date of hearing and adjourned the proceedings.

During the hearing, Secretary Railways, additional attorney general and the officials of the Sindh government informed about the work regarding the construction of underpasses and overhead bridges by the Frontier Works Organization (FWO). They told that considerable progress has been made.

It was informed that the FWO had proposed more overhead and underpasses on the route of Karachi Circular Railways in order to smooth running of the KCR without interruption.

The Secretary Railways informed that there is no impediment from the Railways and Sindh government. The official of the Sindh government said that work for starting operation of KCR is going on day and night and the KCR would be operational within time-line given by the Supreme Court.

Regarding encroachment, the bench was informed that the encroachment on both sides of the tracks of KCR has been removed. The secretary told that there are encroachments on some points, which would be removed as well.

Later, the bench adjourned hearing in this matter for one month.

In February this year, the apex court had ordered to make Karachi Circular Railways (KCR) functional in six months by removing encroachments on the land of the Pakistan Railways. The revived KCR operation is intended to become an inter-regional public transit system in Karachi, with an aim to connect the city centre with several industrial and commercial districts within the city and the outlying suburbs.

Mirza’s apology

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday rejected religious scholar Agha Iftikhar-ud-Din Mirza’s apology over contempt of court charges in anti-judiciary video case. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprised Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan heard the case.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for the accused said Agha Iftikhar could not appear due to positive result of coronavirous test. Agha Iftikhar would have open heart surgery later, she added.

She pleaded the court to pardon Agha Iftikhar. Justice Ijaz asked whether the medical reports had been submitted. The counsel replied that all reports had been submitted. Additional Attorney General Sohail Mahmood said he had also submitted affidavits regarding the statements of witnesses.

Later, hearing of the case was adjourned for one month.