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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Karachi’s Green Line BRT should be green-lit by August: Asad Umer

As the Sindh government had deferred the timeline for operationalization of the much-awaited Green Line Bus Rapid Transport System in Karachi, Planning Minister Asad Umar on Monday asked authorities concerned to make the transport system operational by August 2021. However, Sindh Transport Minister says Minister knows nothing

Planning Minister Asad Umar on Monday asked authorities concerned to make the Green Line Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System in Karachi operational by August 2021.

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As time passes, the dire need that a mega-polis like Karachi has for a well-integrated mass transit system multiplies.

In a meeting held on Monday to review the pace of the Green Line BRT project in Karachi, Mr. Umer said that the central government was working beyond its responsibility to give due rights to Karachi.

This is because, under the 18th amendment, this particular sector lies under the ambit of the provincial government.

The meeting was also attended by Sindh Infrastructure Development Co Ltd (SIDCL) chief executive officer, board chairman, chief operation officer, a representative from the Ministry of Railways, and senior officers from other concerned ministries/institutions.

CEO SIDCL Bilal Memon also briefed the minister on the current progress of the project and the status quo of the procurement for the Green Line infrastructure.

The prototype buses would be ready for testing and commissioning by April 25. Besides, the IITS contract Package-A would be signed on March 26; Package-B on April 2; whereas the award of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) would be announced by May 2021.

The Federal government’s SIDCL completed the existing 25-km track of the Greenline at an estimated Rs.18 billion, while the procurement of purpose-built buses for the project should cost another Rs.2.5-3.5 billion.

On the other hand, Sindh Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah has rejected Asad Umer’s claim that BRT would be operational by August, saying that the Green and Orange Line BRT would become operational by October 2021.

Mr. Shah said that the Federal Minister seems to be unaware of the fact that the buses cannot arrive before October 2021. According to him, the tender for buses has been issued and 100 buses for Green and Orange lines would arrive by the end of September or October 2021.

The federal government was only supposed to develop the route for the Green Line, which was done by August 2019.

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On the other hand, the Red Line BRT has received a soft loan of 65 million Euros from France under the country’s efforts to provide technical and financial support in the energy and urban development sector in Pakistan.