A Green Line bus was pelted with stones on January 19, leaving a few of the vehicle’s windows broken. The Sindh police claim that a group of children living in one of the shanty towns alongside the bus rapid transit service (BRTS) route had hurled the stones.
The District Central SSP arrived on the scene and ordered the SHO concerned to search for the children. The provincial police chief has ordered all the SHOs concerned to increase patrolling along the BRTS route.
The Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL), which was formed to look after the affairs of the Green Line project, claims to have installed around 900 security cameras along the BRTS route and deployed some 250 security guards as well.
In another incident, a door of one of the Green Line buses malfunctioned at the Patel Para Stop, with the passengers stuck inside the vehicle for a while, as two more buses queued up behind it.
Green Line BRTS Project Manager Abdul Aziz told The News on Saturday that both incidents are normal for such a service. He confirmed that stones were hurled from one of the squatter settlements along the BRTS route.
He said that such incidents happen often with bus services of Multan and Peshawar as well. He clarified that the SIDCL has not written a letter to anyone.
“The security of the Green Line BRTS has already been outsourced,” he said, adding that the company outsourced for the security of the bus service can call the police or Rangers if any untoward incident takes place.
As for the damage to one of the buses, he said that all the vehicles of the BRTS are insured and have spare parts that will last three years, adding that the broken glasses have already been repaired.
Commenting on the door malfunction, he said that such occurrences are very common in automated buses.
He explained that when automatic doors freeze up, the entire system needs to be restarted, which can take a little time.
He shared that they have two breakdown (tow) trucks at different stations to remove a malfunctioning bus in case of an emergency. He pointed out that there are also passing lane features at most of the Green Line bus stations.
‘Rangers for patrol’
Taking notice of the stone-pelting incident, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said the attack was highly lamentable.
A handout quoted him as saying that after a very long wait Karachi’s people have
received a comfortable and modern mode of mass transit from the federal government in the form of Green Line.
He expressed concern at the stone-pelting incident, saying that certain miscreants had attempted to cause damage to the bus service, adding that it was a highly alarming incident.
He claimed that being the operator of the Green Line bus service, the federally-run SIDCL had formally complained to the Karachi police about the attack.
He also said the police should inquire into the incident, adding that proper monitoring should be ensured to prevent such sorrowful instances in future. He called for stern action against the miscreants who tried to attack the Green Line bus. Ismail said he had contacted the Sindh Rangers chief after the attack and asked him to deploy the paramilitary force for patrolling the route of the bus service to avoid such eventualities in future.
On the other hand, Federal Information Technology & Telecommunication Minister Syed Aminul Haque expressed anger over alleged reports of people attacking some stations of the Green Line bus service.
Haque, who is also a central leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, said the “transport mafia” is not happy with the modern transport system available to the residents of Karachi. He said the city’s residents will thwart the intentions of the miscreants.
He stressed that it is the responsibility of the Sindh government to provide protection to the Green Line bus service. He said the city’s residents should consider the service an asset of theirs and take care of it. “The elements responsible for trying to destabilise the city want to ruin this service.”
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