KARACHI: The Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC), formed in 2008 as a public company jointly owned by the federal, provincial and city district government, is set to be transferred entirely to the province, Daily Times has learnt.
The decision, taken just ahead of elections last month, is expected to accelarate the processing of the $2.5 billion soft loan approved by the Chinese government for completion of the long-delayed Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project, that is among projects started under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
An official of the KUTC told Daily Times on condition on annonymity that a meeting was held among officials of the Sindh Transport Department, Pakistan Railways, and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) where it was decided that 100 percent of the KUTC’s shares would be surrendered to the provincial government. The company was registered on May 8, 2008, as a public limited entity with 60 percent of its shares held by the PR, 25 percent by the provincial government and 15 percent by the defunct City District Government of Karachi, now Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. It was set up with an amount of Rs484 million in 2008 with share price set at Rs5 per share. According to an estimate, around Rs300 million were spent on the company’s affairs in the decade since its establishment.
The official said that a summary had been moved by the Transport Department to the Law Department to initiate legal formalities for the transfer of ownership to the province. An official in the Law Department confrimed the development.
Under the new setup, the KUTC will be headed by the chief secretary, with members of the board coming from the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA), Pakistan Railways and the KMC.
The provincial government would be in charge of all affairs of the KCR project, and PR members would act only in an advisory capacity.
KUTC project director Talib Fateh and PR Karachi managing director Arshad Khattak hoped that the transfer of ownership would resolve all pending issues, including the land ownership row.
The accord for the loan, to be returned in a 40-year period, was signed between the two governments in September last year. The delay in processing has been attributed to the time taken in the establishment of the Bank of China in Pakistan, and the issue of ownership of land on which the 43-kilometer long track will be laid.
The KCR is a defunct public transit system, which served Karachi metropolitan area between 1969 and 1999. In December 1999, its operation was stopped.
The project was introduced during the years of the country’s first military dictator General Ayub Khan in 1962. The operation began in 1969 under the administrative control of PR. KCR was constructed and opened for traffic in two phases in year 1964 and 1970.
It starts from the Karachi city station and goes to Jhimper before taking the return route back to the city station.
Source: https://dailytimes.com.pk/277283/sindh- ... t-company/
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