KARACHI: Three new truck terminals are being planned on the outskirts of Karachi to ease the flow of traffic in the city.
The terminals equipped with all modern trucking facilities will be built by the Sindh Transport Department at a cost of Rs22 billion. The project will be funded by local and foreign firms, including the provision of land for the three terminals. They will be named Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Truck Terminals, sources in the transport department told The Express Tribune.
One truck stop each will be constructed along all the three major highways of Karachi: the National Highway, the Super Highway and the Northern Bypass near the RCD Highway. The terminals would be spread over an area ranging between 250 acres and 400 acres. Each terminal will be equipped with modern security systems, including closed-circuit television cameras and vehicle tracking. The facility would also include offices, hotels, mosques, automobile workshops, hostels, auditoriums and cinemas. The truckers will be provided parking space and all other facilities to keep them away from parking their vehicles on the roads and illegal truck stands in Karachi, the sources said.
The parking areas of the terminal will be completed within three months while the whole project will take three years to complete.
“We are taking these initiatives to reduce the traffic pressure in Karachi and to provide a secure and peaceful environment to the truckers,” said Ali Nawaz Panhwar, the transport deputy secretary, while talking to The Express Tribune,
The project is awaiting the finalisation of the deal between the Sindh government and a private company, Integrated Consulting Services, which will fund the project. A committee has been formed, including representatives of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and provincial police, transport, home and law departments, to iron out the agreement.
All stakeholders, including transporters, are being taken into confidence regarding the project, Panhwar said.
The official was very optimistic about the project in terms of reducing the traffic problems of Karachi. Road jams in Karachi will reduce substantially as only those trucks will be allowed to enter Karachi that are to be loaded or unloaded, the rest will stay at the terminals, he said. According to Panhwar, the truck terminals will be Pakistan’s first to be built on international standards. The sponsoring companies will provide water, electricity and other civic facilities at the site and the truckers will be able to avail them on minimal daily charges.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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