Rs6.5bn earmarked for procuring electric buses for Karachi

Our Correspondent
June 16, 2021

The new budget contains an allocation of Rs2 billion for the construction of underpasses and overhead bridges over railway crossings along the route of the Karachi Circular Railway project.

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The Sindh government has reserved an allocation of Rs6.5 billion in its new budget for the financial year 2021-22 for buying electric buses for Karachi.

In his budget speech on Tuesday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said a modern city required a modern transportation system. “Unfortunately, Karachi has still to call home a planned mass-transportation system,” he said.

“We can engage in a never-ending blame game. But we will not waste our time. Previously, we have unrolled multiple mass-transit programmes for Karachi and now we will intensify these programmes,” the CM said.

He said the Annual Development Programme of the Sindh government for the next financial year contained an allocation Rs8.2 billion for constructing the corridors of Bus Rapid Transit Service in the city.

“We are also thankful to the federal government for extending its support for the construction of Green Line BRTS, but we expect that the Government of Pakistan may revisit its commitment for the development of the Karachi city.”

The new budget contains an allocation of Rs2 billion for the construction of underpasses and overhead bridges over railway crossings along the route of the Karachi Circular Railway project. It also contains an allocation of Rs6.476 billion as grant-in-aid for the procurement of 250 diesel hybrid electric buses under the Sindh Intra-District Peoples’ Bus Services Project.

The Red Line Section of BRTS has been initiated in the year 2021 at a cost of Rs75 billion and its groundbreaking is expected in the third quarter of 2021. “It will improve arterial connectivity of Malir and East districts with the Central business district,” said the CM. The proposed budget includes an allocation of Rs109.36 billion for carrying out various development projects in Karachi.

“In view of immense significance of Karachi as a financial/economic hub of the country, the highest chunk of the foreign loan/PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode projects has been reserved for Karachi. Currently, there are 1,072 projects in the ADP, Foreign Project Assistance and PPP mode in Karachi district for the total cost of Rs991.7 billion.”

There are 16 PPP mode projects in Karachi with an estimated cost of Rs288.96 billion initiated in road infrastructure, water, information technology and health sectors. Currently, there are six projects in Karachi collectively funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank signed in the last two years for the total approved cost of Rs436.68 billion. The allocation kept for 2021-22 is Rs39.619 billion.

Moreover, there are projects of Karachi Division in provincial ADP and District ADP for the total cost of Rs266.15 billion which are in different implementation phases. The total allocation for schemes is Rs61.94 billion.

The Government of Sindh in collaboration with the World Bank has initiated the Karachi Competitive and Livable City of Karachi(CLICK) Project. This project not only aims to improve the governance but would also provide financial support to the local bodies to invest in improvement of municipal infrastructure. Over Rs20 billion would be spent by the local bodies on the infrastructure of Karachi.

Under the project work on important schemes such as construction of a 6.5km road from Machli Chowk to KANNUP at a cost of Rs800 million would be completed during 2021-22. Also, through the project an amount of Rs5.2 billion would be disbursed amongst local councils of Karachi during the next financial year for the improvement of municipal infrastructure.

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