A focused group discussion was held between Dr. Saleem Janjua, Policy Head Urban Development Division, CoE-CPEC, Mr. Yousaf Munir, Director General, Sindh Mass Transit Authority, Government of Sindh and other officials from NESPAK on 18-09-2017 at NED Campus, Karachi,
Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) as a mass transit project, was discussed in detail. Historically, the KCR was operational in 1960’s and 1970’s. However it was later abandoned due to poor infrastructure and inability to provide mobility for the urban residents of Karachi. Under the CPEC portfolio, the revival of KCR as a mass transit project is a primary focus of the federal and provincial government of Sindh. The preparation of feasibility of the project is the responsibility of NESPAK, The actual work on the project would be started after the competitive bidding process. KCR is expected to improve the mobility situation of the largest metropolitan city of Pakistan and would provide ridership to 550,000 commuters. The project has an estimated cost of $ 1.9 billion. The highlight of the meeting was that future research areas arising under Karachi Circular Railway were identified by the participants. Important matters that need urgent attention with respect to the research include standardization of scales between Pakistan Railways and Chinese companies, resolving the issue of encroachment on the KCR track, land use planning round the KCR and sustainability of the project.