Karachi: On Thursday, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Sindh government to fulfil the documentation criteria and disburse funding on the Karachi Circular Railway (KCT) line in the form of underpasses and overhead bridges, news media reported.

The Apex court has given an ultimatum of one month to finish the PC-I, contracting signature and issuance of the order and availability of funds needed to execute the project, as provided for in the directions issued by SC’s 3-man bench chaired by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad. In addition, Sindh Salman Talibuddin’s Advocate General has been given a month to produce a project report.

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The province government had previously promised PKR 6 billion in January 2020 to make KCR work within the SC bench’s period. However, the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has been awarded the contract, which has changed design following rigorous review. According to the data provided in the court, FWO had changed the scope and tenor of the project in cooperation with the Railways, which prevented the Provincial government from starting it.

The FWO replied that details of the current scheme for constructing underpasses and bridges were not viable and that track lifting was required. The organization maintained that the overall project cost would stay the same under the new design and that minimal traffic congestion and displacement of people would be needed for construction work. The Court declared the redesigned method practical, technically sound and acceptable to all concerned after hearing both sides’ arguments.

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