All aboard: Karachi’s metro bus project to run along same way as Lahore

Published: July 11, 2014
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) addressing the media along with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad (L) and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah (R) at the Governor House in Karachi on July 10, 2014. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) addressing the media along with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad (L) and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah (R) at the Governor House in Karachi on July 10, 2014. PHOTO: PID

KARACHI: 

There were a lot of things Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to do in his one-day visit to Karachi. He had several meetings lined up, one of which was at Governor House with a special announcement for the residents of Karachi.

On Thursday, the prime minister announced that they would launch the Metro Bus Project in the city and will have Rs15 billion set aside for it. “We have decided to take over the green line project in the city,” he said. “The metro bus service will start on the same pattern as Lahore.”

The green, yellow and red line projects are part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors that have already been announced by the Sindh government. In the current financial budget, the provincial government has also allocated Rs3 billion for the green line corridor that is supposed to start from Surjani Town and go all the way to Merewether Tower.

The prime minister (PM), however, categorically explained that the green line project will be completed with funding as a federal project. He said that he wanted to hurry up and finish work on this 25-kilometre corridor which would ease the traffic congestion in the city.

Officials who were briefing the PM on the BRT corridors said that this was being proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the provincial government would work with the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) on it together.

At this point of the meeting, the PM turned to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and asked if he would object to the federal government taking over this project. Shah said that he would have no objection and added that the Sindh government was already pursuing the Centre to invest in Karachi.

While addressing those present at the meeting, Sharif said that Karachi was the economic hub of Pakistan and that is why the federal government wanted to focus on its mega schemes. “We will start work on the Lahore-Karachi motorway soon. A total of Rs55 billion have been released to National Highway Authority for this projcct,” he said assuring the chief minister and governor that development funds for the K-IV, SIII and other mega schemes would not be curtailed.

During the meeting the issue of Karachi Circular Railway and Lyari Expressway was also taken up. The federal minister for railways, Khwaja Saad Rafique, and Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana briefed the PM about the railway and expressway projects. The chief secretary informed the premier that they were trying to relocate the people living on part of the expressway that was incomplete. Once, he said, the people were relocated they could start working on it again.

The PM was accompanied by the federal interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar on this trip. They assured Shah and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad of the federal government’s financial assistance to resolve these issues without any delay.

Nawaz Sharif also held three other meetings, including one on the law and order situation with political parties, members of the business community and law enforcement officers.

The business community asked the PM to hand Karachi over to the armed forces for just six months given the increasing extortion and kidnapping cases. The chief minister defended his government’s efforts and said that a couple of days ago the business community had held a meeting with him and appreciated the Sindh government’s efforts. Source told The Express Tribune that the business community led by Siraj Qasim Teli presented facts and figures on how the industrialists were shifting their industries from Karachi and demanded that if the army can be called into Multan, Islamabad and other cities why can’t it be deployed to Karachi till things got better.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Haroon Farooq
    Jul 11, 2014 - 1:56AM

    Dear Mr Imran Khan,

    This is PROGRESS. 15 Billion initially and Sindh govt’s share to also be paid by Fed Govt. Let the govt work.Stop your stupidity and please let them work. Perform in KPK where you are changing your ministers on a daily basis.

    Regards

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  • Huma
    Jul 11, 2014 - 2:16AM

    It is good federal govt asked Sindh permission to take over BRT project. According to constitution, the federal govt can unilaterally undertake development projects anywhere in Pakistan.

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  • Napier Mole
    Jul 11, 2014 - 3:33AM

    And what about Karachi Circular Railway ready to take off for years now. If u have the money and commitment, why not focus on something of permanent merit ready to take off than inventing another spare wheel first.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Jul 11, 2014 - 6:05AM

    Nawaz Sharif in his previous Govt,announce so many projects for Karachi, but never even started, just making Karachi people fool, to keep his some vote bank….

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  • Aysha M
    Jul 11, 2014 - 9:27AM

    Please keep your money. Let Karachi be governed by Karachi. Give us a local government, like all mega cities in the world have, where the city mayor calls the shots, with policing, utilities and transport under him. Mr. Prime Minister, ‘help us help you’ and Pakistan. Let Karchi be restored to the heights it used to reside upon.Recommend

  • UMAR
    Jul 11, 2014 - 9:44AM

    A very beautiful dream for KARACHI WALLA which will
    never come true.

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  • Aysha M
    Jul 11, 2014 - 10:06AM

    Please keep your money. Let Karachi be governed by Karachi. Give us a local government, like all mega cities in the world have, where the city mayor calls the shots, with policing, utilities and transport under him. Mr. Prime Minister, ‘help us help you’ and Pakistan. Let Karachi be restored to the heights it used to reside upon.

    Recommend

  • H Chaudhry
    Jul 11, 2014 - 12:34PM

    @Aysha M While you are absolutely correct about need of a local government in Karachi and every other Pakistani city, sadly, it is not something PM can do alone. This is a political hot bed. The shame is the political party that represents Karachi, continues to stay in bed with party that represent feudal mentality and District management through beurocracy.

    I truly hope though that this Government(s) can take a collective action and devolve power to local levels.

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  • fus
    Jul 11, 2014 - 8:41PM

    @H Chaudhry; How is PML(N) better than PPP in governance. Agreed your Punjab CM is more energetic and less corrupt then Qaim Ali Shah, but very bad in governance. Punjab has the most centralized system, CM and his handful bureacrates and PMLN Thugs rulethe province. If PML (N) was realy sincere with the people they would have devolve power to local govt. Both PTI and PMLN have no reason no to have local govt.

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