Around 36 CNG buses of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) will hit the roads during the current month of June in Karachi, and it will be followed by the mass transit programme, said Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah.
While presiding over a meeting regarding intra-city bus project for Karachi at CM House on June 12, Shah directed the relevant officers to launch the inter-cities bus transport programme and connect all the divisional headquarters with the provincial capital. For this, he gave a deadline of two months.
The chief minister also formed a three-member committee to rationalise the fare structure. The committee is headed by the Sindh chief secretary with the commissioner and KMC administrator as members.
Addressing the meeting, Shah said that Karachi is the industrial and commercial hub of Pakistan but without a proper mass-transit system, its people are experiencing difficulties in commuting. He said that people are compelled to travel on the roof of the buses because of a shortage of buses.
Keeping that in view, he added, the Sindh government has come up with the mass-transit programme comprising the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System for Karachi. He said that three major corridors including yellow line, green line and red line have been identified for this programme, adding that other transportation programmes including the launch of KMC buses and inter-cities transportation programme have also been taken into hand.
The Sindh government has spent Rs40million to restore the KMC Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, which were out of order since long. He added that now 36 CNG buses of the KMC have been reconditioned and will be brought on the tracks in June, while another 35 buses are undergoing repairs. These 35 buses are expected to be fixed within two months, he said.
He said that another scheme of inter-cities transportation has also matured and an agreement with a foreign transport company has been put in black and white. “Initially the foreign company had agreed to ply 50 air-conditioned buses between Karachi and each divisional headquarter of rural Sindh within two months,” he said, adding that the number of buses in this scheme will be raised up to 100.
The provincial transport secretary informed that the KMC CNG buses will be plied on the route from Tower to Quaidabad through Sharae Faisal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2014.