PPPA approves proposal for Karachi Circular Railway

The Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) Board on Tuesday approved the project proposal and transaction structure for development and operation of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

The approval was given during the 19th board meeting of PPPA chaired by Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar. 

According to officials the project with its transaction structure approved by the board will be launched after approval by the National Economic Council’s (ECNEC) Executive Committee.

The board reviewed key statistics and components of the project proposal of KCR which envisaged the project to be built on a public-private partnership basis whereby the private sector would be responsible to finance the construction of the civil works, electrical & mechanical component (including procurement of rolling stock) and operations & maintenance of the project from its own resources under a single package contract.

According to the approved project proposal the project will be implemented on a user charge basis and the Government of Pakistan (GOP) will provide Capital Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in order to improve its financial viability and attract adequate investor interest.

The private sector would also be given a Minimum Revenue Guarantee (MRG) for the initial operational years and a right to undertake commercial development of the KCR stations to supplement fare and non-fare revenues incidental to the project.

Asad Umar while highlighting the importance of the project said “the project is an important part of the Karachi Transformation Plan and will play a pivotal role in providing an affordable and reliable public transport system to Karachiites’. 

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Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


  1. I saw KCR was up and running as child and travelled through KCR many times with friends. We used to travel from North Nazimabad Block B Station to Aziz Bhatti Park in Gulshan e Iqbal and Malir Cant and back. Good old days. But sad to see the declining affairs of KCR as well as entire transport system of Karachi. It is so unfortunate that we were not able to maintain and keep KCR up and running on profitable lines for the largest city of Pakistan. We as nation has significantly declined in last 30-40 years. Wish good days to our younger generations to have good peaceful and quality life in Karachi as well as entire country.

  2. Statements like the one made by the Prime Minister are nothing new. This government and governments before have regularly touted tech and information technology as the future of Pakistan and a way out of unemployment and the country’s economic woes. Yet the two most basic fundamentals to achieve success in the IT sector is a robust education system and widespread internet connectivity.

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