KARACHI: After a long pause of over eight years, the city’s public transport bus owner’s body, Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI), is going to restart a bus route between Gulshan-e-Hadeed and Maripur.
Nine members of the KTI will inaugurate the route, Super Muslim, on May 1 with a fleet of 40 minibuses. “We have gotten the route permit from the Regional Transport Authority and expect to open the route from May 1,” said Rab Nawaz, one of the nine bus owners.
According to Nawaz, they don’t have the resources to bring new buses for the route and have arranged 40 minibuses from Japan’s Mazdah Company. “We have tried to arrange the vehicles with good conditions for the route. Transporters are unwilling to invest in Karachi’s public transport because of the unpredictable law and order situation. People torch our vehicles to express their anger over load shedding, water shortage and even family disputes.” Nawaz said that the route will cover the areas of Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Quaidabad, Industrial area of Landhi, Qayyumabad, Jinnah Hospital, Lucky Star, II Chundrigar Road and Maripur and Sandspit Beach.
Nawaz told The Express Tribune that the route was closed down in 2004 and there were no direct buses between Gulshan-e-Hadeed and Saddar and between Qayyumabad and Gulshan-e-Hadeed.
“People change two buses on the way to Saddar – the route will give us relief and a good facility but only if the transporters run it with diesel or petrol because CNG is always short in the city,” said Zia Urehman a resident of Landhi industrial area who works in Saddar.
Talking to The Express Tribune, KTI Chairperson Irshad Bukhari said that they have not brought new buses into the public transport for over 15 years. “People are not ready to invest because of the uncertainty of the law and order situation during which the public transport vehicles are torched.”
Bukhari said that most of the vehicles are now owned by the drivers who are not financially strong to buy new buses, ranging from Rs6 million to 7 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2013.