KARACHI: The first consignment of 40 modern buses to be plied on the Green Line section of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) reached the Karachi Port on Sunday.
Speaking at the ceremony held to celebrate the arrival of buses in Karachi, Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said the proper commercial operation of the Green Line bus service would begin in Karachi by end of November 2021 after completion of the trials. Another consignment of 40 buses for the BRTS project would reach Karachi next month, he said.
The minister said the corridor of the Green Line bus service was 22 kilometres long as it was meant to facilitate the daily commuting by some 135,000 passengers.
He said an integrated command and control system had been established to operate buses on both Green Line and Orange Line sections of the BRTS as being the integrated transportation systems. A bus depot has also been built to accommodate 80 buses as 22 stations have also been built for the BRTS service.
Asad Umar said Karachi is the biggest city in the country as it is the first time that a modern public transportation system would be launched in the city. He said the corridor of the Green Line bus service is ready. He said drivers would be given the training to operate these buses. He said that Rs 27 billion had been spent by the federal government to complete the Green Line bus service.
He hoped that a large number of the residents of Karachi would avail the Green Line bus service. He said the federal government had been building five major development projects as part of the Karachi Transformation Plan. He said the residents of Karachi would continue to get good news similar to the launching of the Green Line bus service.
The minister said the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet in the next month would give approval to the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project that would be even a bigger and more modern transportation project than the BRTS.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan whenever had time would come to Karachi to perform the groundbreaking of the KCR project that would be built with a cost of Rs 250 billion. He said the federal government owed much to Karachi as being the city contributing most revenue to the public exchequer and also the city whose residents overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the last general elections so that Imran Khan could become the prime minister.
He said unfortunately the past federal and provincial governments had not fulfilled their obligations towards Karachi. He said the federal government would launch development projects in 14 districts of Karachi.
He mentioned that Sindh Governor Imran Ismael used to pressurise him that the development projects initiated in the province should be completed at the earliest. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said on the occasion that the arrival of these buses meant that another milestone had been achieved in the Karachi Transformation Package being implemented to ensure welfare of the people of the city, he said, adding the BRTS Green Line project would provide best public transportation facility to the people of the city.
The phase one of the BRTS project would carter to the daily transportation needs of a large section of Karachi’s population from Surjani Town to the Numaish Chowrangi, he said. He appreciated the services of the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Ltd to ensure the timely completion of the project. He said Green Line bus service would become operational in November this year as being the first mass transit system of the city.
He said the best possible minimum fare would be charged from the residents of Karachi, who would avail the Green Line bus service. Federal IT Minister Aminul Haq expressed pleasure that the youth of the city would be able to travel with much comfort after paying the minimum fare.
He expressed gratitude to the federal government for completing the Green Line bus service, adding much more development works had to be carried out in the city. He said the federal government had to complete K-IV bulk water supply project for the city on a priority basis.
The operational head of the company given the contract of operating the Green Line bus service said that 200 drivers would be trained for the BRTS project as the woman candidates could also apply for these jobs. A monthly card system would also be launched to pay the fare of the Green Line bus service
SDICL CEO, Nadeem Lodhi, said the Green Line project had been designed in a way that the harmful emissions from the bus operation would be minimal to protect the environment of the city.
He said after the clearance from the port, the buses that arrived in the city would be brought to the depot of the Green Line service in Surjani Town under supervision of the Chinese technical team.
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