Up to 25 per cent of people in Karachi have their own transport and 60 per cent of this chunk own motorcycles, according to Syed Nadeem Arif of Environmental Management Consultants during a presentation on the city’s transport woes on Thursday.
“It is expected that this high percentage of motorcycle owners will buy cars, which will further worsen the situation in the city,” he said, adding that the government could study both the Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transport Systems as a solution. The experts who had gathered at the office of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry agreed that the transport problem in Karachi city will only worsen if the government fails to introduce a mass transit system.
The Karachi Mass Transit Cell (KMTC) had organised the meeting with industrialists and NGOs in a move to elicit public opinion.
Talking to The Express Tribune, KMTC Director Engr. Ghulam Rasool said that they needed to create political will to solve the transport problems. “They will only increase because the population of the city is growing fast,” he added. He shared that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing most of the funds to study the transport problems of Karachi. The cost of the mass transit study is Rs370 million and JICA will give Rs356 million while the rest will be shared by the Sindh and city district governments.
Industrialists and businesspersons emphasised the need for an economical and safe mass transit system. They appreciate the efforts of the Japanese government for its grant to study the prospects of a mass transit system for Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2011.