The Sindh Transport Department has decided to launch operations of its Peoples Electric Bus Service on new routes in Karachi in the month of Ramazan.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Information, Transport and Mass Transit Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon at his office on Friday. The meeting was held to review public transport projects.
The provincial minister directed the managing director of the Sindh Mass Transit Authority and the project director the NRTC to finalise arrangements for electric buses on new routes in the metropolis. He announced that a new fleet of environment-friendly European standard electric vehicles was being imported.
The meeting also reviewed the operations of the Peoples Bus Service, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line, Orange Line and Yellow Line projects in detail.
Memon said that Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had given strict instructions to complete the development projects of Karachi as soon as possible. The chairman himself was taking keen interest in the development projects of the city and had launched two important projects in a week, including the foundation stone of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in the Korangi district and the opening of Jauhar Chowrangi flyover.
He said the people of Karachi had given a huge mandate to the Pakistan Peoples Party in the local bodies elections and it was its priority to fulfil their expectations. He said work on the World Bank-funded BRT Yellow Line would also be launched soon.
Memon directed the transport department to award the tender for the construction of a new Jam Sadiq bridge under the BRT Yellow Line project by May 2. “No delay in this regard will be tolerated in any case,” he said, adding that hurdles in the construction of the bus depot for the BRT Yellow Line project should also be removed so that the construction work could start well in time. The transport minister also sought a weekly report on the speed of work on the Asian Development Bank-funded BRT Redline project on University Road. He said that citizens were facing severe difficulties and the provincial government wanted to complete the project as soon as possible.
This project is the most important project to improve the public transport infrastructure of Karachi, he said, adding that the BRT Red Line project contractors have been given Rs400 million this week. Round-the-clock construction of the BRT corridor, he said, should be ensured in lot one and lot two of the project in day and night shifts.
Transport Secretary Abdul Haleem Shaikh, Managing Director Sindh Mass Transit Authority Kamal Hakeem and NRTC Project Director Sohaib Shafiq attended the meeting.