Karachi to receive 80 new buses soon, SHC told

Phase II of Green Line Bus project slated for completion by March, states Centre's report

Our Correspondent February 25, 2021


The Sindh High Court was informed on Wednesday that Phase II of the Green Line Bus Project would be completed by March 2021 and 80 new buses are to arrive in the metropolis soon.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, was hearing a plea pertaining to absence of mass transit facilities in the city.

The federal government submitted a report stating that Phase I of the Green Line Bus project, comprising a 24 kilometre-long track, has been completed while Phase II of the project is expected to see completion by March 2021. The report mentioned that 80 buses are to arrive in Karachi soon and all tenders have been issued.

The report further stated that the contract for the Green Line and Orange Line buses has been made with China and 24 stations are to constructed at a cost of Rs240 million. It added that the project, once completed, would be handed over to the provincial government. The Centre will fully cooperate with the Sindh government for the operations of the Green Line Bus service.

The court directed the petitioner to prepare arguments based on the report and adjourned the hearing till April 1.

Local govt elections

Hearing a plea pertaining to delamination of constituencies and local government elections, the same bench inquired about the notification pertaining to the population census.

The court was informed by the counsel representing the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics that the Supreme Court has recently issued orders and sought replies on why local government elections have not been conducted on time. He informed the court that all the provincial governments, except for the Sindh government, have submitted their replies.

Justice Mazhar inquired about the notification for census.

To this, the representative of the Council of Common interest replied that the notification would be issued soon.

Following this, the court inquired of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's counsel as to why they have filed a similar plea before the Supreme Court.

The bench directed the petitioner's counsel to ask his client what it is that they want. Besides, the court sought a report pertaining to the issuance of the notification regarding approval of the controversial 2017 census and adjourned the hearing till March 11.

Missing persons

Meanwhile, another two-member bench, comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice Abdul Mobeen Lakho, summoned the Sindh chief secretary and the IGP over a set of pleas pertaining to the recovery of missing persons.

Irked at the lack of progress thus far, the court asked what the problems were.

Investigating officers have not been able to trace missing citizens for years, the bench pointed out.

Several joint-investigation teams and provincial task force meetings have been held but to no avail, the court observed.

Should an investigating officer be punished if the task force's directive is not implemented, asked Justice Phulpoto of the home department's focal person. "Should an investigating officer be fired or demoted?"

The focal person replied that no action has been taken against any investigating officer thus far.

What is the use of such provincial task force meetings if their orders are not carried out, asked Justice Phulpoto.

During the hearing, the Pakistan Rangers' prosecutor, Habib Ahmed, informed the court that missing citizens have not been detained.

The bench also expressed annoyance at the federal government's lawyer for failing to submit a report pertaining to detention centres.

The court sought details at the next hearing slated for March 30.

*With additional input from PPI

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2021.


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