KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has approved Rs195 million for the intra-city bus project, under which 32 buses will ply on Sharae Faisal in the first phase and on five different routes in the second phase.
The CM approved the project while presiding over a meeting on Monday at CM House to review projects of the transport department. The meeting was attended by Planning and Development Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Transport Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Planning and Development Board Chairperson Mohammad Waseem, Transport Secretary Saeed Awan and others.
Briefing the CM, the transport minister said Rs2 billion had been earmarked for the Sindh Modaraba Ltd to support subsidy requirements of the project over a period of five years.
Nasir informed the meeting that the transport department had received a proposal from Daewoo Express Ltd, in which the company had proposed to ply 288 vehicles on five routes in the city with a fleet of around 50 vehicles per route. The five routes were from Qayyumabad to Qasba Colony, from Baldia Town to Quaidabad, from Shah Faisal Colony to Fisheries, from Landhi to Surjani Town and from Landhi to Baldia Town.
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The CM directed to start 32 Daewoo buses on Sharae Faisal in the first phase and then on five routes in the second phase. Approving the amount of Rs195 million for the project, Murad directed the transport minister to make necessary arrangements for inaugurating the bus service on Sharae Faisal on February 15.
Intercity bus project
Nasir also briefed the meeting about the intercity bus project for which Rs2 billion had been allocated by the government and placed at the disposal of the Sindh Modaraba for subsidy requirements of the project. The project would start with 70% debt and 30% equity, the meeting was informed.
The transport minister said the Daewoo Express had given a proposal to ply 134 vehicles on nine different routes, including Karachi to Hyderabad, Karachi to Sukkur, Karachi to Mirpurkhas, Karachi to Larkana, Karachi to Shaheed Benazirabad, Karachi to Multan, Karachi to Dera Ghazi Khan, Karachi to Quetta and Sukkur to Quetta. Daewoo had proposed to partnering with nine independent sole proprietors for the project, the meeting was informed. Under the proposed model, the sole proprietor would handle the equity of the project and own buses while Daewoo would be the operational partner and would operate the fleet. Each sole proprietor would be eligible for loan from the Sindh Modaraba for the project.
Murad directed the transport minister to expedite work on the proposal as he wanted to launch the intercity bus project soon after the inauguration of the first phase of the intra-city project.
Abdul Sattar Edhi Line
The Abdul Sattar Edhi Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which was earlier named the Orange Line, was also discussed at the meeting. The CM was told that the total length of the project was 3.88 kilometres (km). The project included six bus stations, of which one would be elevated. According to an estimate, around 50,000 people will use the BRT daily.
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The meeting was informed that the project was divided into two phases. The first phase linked the Administration Office in Orangi Town to Bacha Khan Flyover while the second phase linked the flyover to Jinnah University For Women in North Nazimabad.
The cost of the first phase, whose length was 1.38km, was estimated at Rs643.35 million. It had two bus stations including the elevated one. The meeting was informed that presently 42% work of the first phase had been completed and a completion target of April, 2018 has been set.
The second phase would cover a 2.5km long portion and its estimated cost was Rs496.76 million. It had four bus stations and it had been 25% completed, the meeting was informed. The CM directed the transport minister to make sure that the projects were completed by March 2018.
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