A Canadian firm is willing to launch a public transport project in Sindh.
The company expressed its willingness to invest in the scheme at a meeting recently held between the Karachi Public Transport Society (KPTS) and provincial transport secretary Nazar Muhammad Kalhoro. Pakistani expats Syed Naeemuddin and Sohail, who work for the company, were also present at the meeting.
The KPTS administrator, Shamsuddin Abro, told the participants that the Canadian firm had asked for proposals initially and the transporters have proposed 3,000 buses in the first phase for the province. Of the total 500 buses will be reserved for Karachi alone. The buses in Karachi would have the capacity to accommodate up to 70 people (40 seats plus 30 standing passengers) while the inter-city buses would carry 52 passengers seat-by-seat.
Canada-based Bridge Communications & Research has been working on a number of USAID projects. The public transport scheme would be funded by the USAID and executed by the firm.
Efforts are being made to procure the buses to be run under the public transport society, said the company’s representatives at the meeting.
The transport secretary assured the Canadian investors that the Sindh government would extend every possible help to run the project.
Naeemuddin, who is in Pakistan to monitor some USAID-funded projects, said that the proposed transport system would be run by the transport society.
The representatives of Bridge Communication & Research are currently in Islamabad. After their return, they would hold meetings with the Sindh chief secretary among other government officials to finalise the deal before signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the KPTS.
The public transport society already runs the metro buses, coaches and radio cabs in Karachi. The proposed project is expected to create jobs for around 3,500 people.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2012.