Sindh govt to allocate Rs3b for BRT lines, says transport secy

Finance, information ministers promise Karachi's transport problems will be resolved soon.

Our Correspondent June 07, 2015
The Bus Rapid Transit lines hope to resolve the traffic issues of the metropolis. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: With Rs16 billion announced for the city's Green Line Metro Bus service in the federal budget, provincial transport secretary Tuaha Farooqui has revealed that the Sindh government is set to allocate around Rs3 billion for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.

According to Sindh transport department focal person Yar Muhammad Mirjat, the Green Line service will stretch over 23 kilometres from Surjani to Tower.

"The budget proposal states that Rs2 billion has been released in this regard," he explained to The Express Tribune, adding that since it was a mega-project, all utility lines would be relocated from the Green Line routes around Nagan Chowrangi and Sakhi Hassan. These include high tension power lines and installations of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, Sui Southern Gas Company and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board. He said that a bus depot owned by the Karachi Transport Corporation in Surjani Town will also be acquired for the project.

"The qingqis will take commuters to the minibuses via internal roads and then the minibuses will be used to take them to the BRT lines through the link roads," Mirjat explained.

Meanwhile, Farooqui told The Express Tribune that the provincial government will hold the ground-breaking ceremony for the five-kilometre Orange Line, from Board Office to Orangi Town, in September. This project is to cost Rs2.5 billion, which he said included the cost of shifting and relocating utility lines.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), on the other hand, is working on the Red Line, going from University Road to Saddar. "It will cost Rs15 billion, which will be collected through public-private partnership," he disclosed. "Not only is the ADB designing it, it will also help us integrate all the BRT lines."

These lines, the transport secretary said, will be divided into three to four parts, with contracts being given to different companies so that work can be completed quickly. He estimated that the Orange Line would take around 14 months to complete if started in September, while the Red Line would take around 18 months. "The execution of the Green Line is to be done by the federal government but I am hopeful that it will be finished by the end of 2016."

When asked why the Sindh government had only allocated Rs3 billion for the BRT lines, Farooqui replied that the provincial government could not pay all the money and was seeking public-private partnerships.

Resolving traffic issues

Visiting various ongoing projects on Sunday, Sindh finance minister Murad Ali Shah and information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon promised that the city's transport problems would be resolved in the next year and a half.

Shah said that four new projects — the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Red Line bus schemes — would be launched in Karachi in the next fiscal year. Meanwhile, Memon told the media that the Mehran Underpass project would be completed on time, pointing out that traffic had not been diverted even for a day.

"We have promised the people of Karachi that their lifestyle will be made better with the use of all available resources," declared Memon, adding that new projects would be launched across Sindh as well.

Meanwhile, Shah criticised the federal government, saying that Rs185 billion were allocated to Sindh in the last budget but these funds were cut to Rs168 billion. He further said that the provincial budget will be disclosed on June 13.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2015. 


Clash of Gangs | 7 years ago | Reply this is good news, cause these days in the summer too hot also the traffic is killing
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