KARACHI: The Sindh Transport Department has sought Rs4.3 billion in its budget proposal for the fiscal year 2012-13 with six ambitious projects planned to ease traffic problems in the province.
A huge chunk of the total outlay (Rs3.62 billion) has been proposed for the establishment of inter-city bus terminals in all major cities of the province.
The transport department also plans to construct modern bus terminals in Thatta, Badin and Kambar districts at an estimated cost of Rs250 million. The terminals will be equipped with all basic facilities, including shops, workshops, hotels and mosques.
Under a project named “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Buses”, the department will start running 500 buses to connect the major cities of the province with Karachi. In the first phase, the department will import 100 buses, while the total cost of the project is estimated at Rs100 million.
“We need at least 10,000 more buses to overcome the transportation problems,” claimed Sindh Transport Minister Akhtar Hussain Jadoon. “We will import the buses under public-private partnership with a government subsidy of 20 per cent to the investor.”
According to the budget proposal, the department wants Rs102.8 million for the “Rehabilitation of Drivers Training School”, aiming to teach driving skills to drivers of commercial vehicles.
The department is in contact with the Highway and Motorway Police to assist them in the project. The buildings of the training schools in Karachi, Sukkur, Hyderabad and Larkana will be made functional under the scheme. To control the traffic flow and curb violation of traffic laws, the department will initiate the “Transport Examination Control Programme” across the province. Security cameras will be installed at different places on the main roads to monitor and record any breaches and automatically penalise the violators.
Interestingly, the department has not proposed any new schemes to resolve the public transport problems in major cities of the province, especially Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.