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November 4, 2018
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‘Sindh government will run Green Line from its own resources’

Karachi

November 4, 2018

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The Sindh government will run the under-construction Green Line bus project from its own resources, the transport minister informed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief on Saturday.

The announcement of the provincial administration’s commitment to the delayed project came during a meeting between Transport & Mass Transit Minister Syed Awais Qadir Shah and PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the Bilawal House.

“It [the Green Line bus project] will, in fact, be [our] gift to the people of Karachi,” said the transport minister. He briefed the party chief about the government’s plans to improve the transport system in the province, including its capital Karachi.

The minister said that 80 per cent of the work on this key project of mass transit in the city has been completed, adding that the delay in its completion is primarily due to unnecessary hiccups being created by the federal government. Bilawal stressed on swift completion of the project to facilitate the people.

The 25-billion-rupee Green Line section of the bus rapid transit system is being built by the federal administration. Its ground-breaking was performed by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif this February.

The project was supposed to be completed in around two years. An almost 18km-long portion of the project from Surjani Town to Guru Mandir is near completion. Bus service stations for the passengers and a bus depot for the project are currently being built. The total length of the project is 26km.

This September, when Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Karachi for the first time after assuming the office of the country’s chief executive, the federal government expressed willingness that it would provide buses for the Green Line project to ensure early commencement of operations of the project.

Last month Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had informed the media that the Centre was seeking to contract the services of an operating partner for the project so that operations of the buses could commence on at least the built portion of the Green Line section from Surjani Town to Guru Mandir.

The governor had said the federal government could ensure commencement of the bus operations on the built portion of the Green Line within six months if in case it was able to seek the services of an operating partner for the project in the next two months.

Earlier, the Sindh administration was supposed to procure buses for the Green Line project once its infrastructure was completed by the federal government. It was initially planned that 80 buses would operate on the Green Line section and 12 on the adjacent 3.9km-long Orange Line section being built by the provincial government.

The Orange Line project, which will connect Orangi Town with the Green Line project, is also facing delays. The Sindh government later named the Orange Line project after the late luminary of social services Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Education

Education & Literacy Minister Syed Sardar Shah also called on the PPP chief at the Bilawal House. Shah informed Bilawal that his department has initiated practical steps to update the curricula and textbooks to align them with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The minister said that to promote female education, the PPP government is paying stipends between Rs3,500 and Rs340,000 to female students every year, adding that Sindh is the only province offering this.

A day earlier, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had chaired a meeting at the CM House to make SDGs a part of the syllabi and textbooks of schools across the province.

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