Monday June 27, 2022

Murad wants Orange Line to be launched in first week of June

By our correspondents
May 11, 2022

Sindh’s chief minister has directed the Karachi Mass Transit Authority (KMTA) to complete the remaining work on the corridor of the Orange Line, also known as the Abdul Sattar Edhi Line, by the end of May so that the bus rapid transit service can be made operational in June.

Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday chaired a meeting at the CM House, where the transport department briefed him that 95 per cent of the work on the 3.8km Orange Line has been completed. The project comprises four passenger stations and a bus depot.

The CM directed Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon to expedite the completion of the civil work on the corridor so that it the bus service can be started with 20 vehicles. Shah told the KMTA to complete the work this month so that he can launch the service in the first week of next month. “I won’t accept any excuse to delay the project any further,” he said, adding that he has already released the required amount of Rs2 billion.

Peoples bus service

The CM was given a detailed briefing on the Peoples Intra-district Bus Service costing over Rs8 billion. The project has been initiated by the provincial government through the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA).

The National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) has been tasked with procuring 250 buses initially, of which 240 will operate in Karachi (intra-city) on seven routes, and the remaining in Larkana. The infrastructure revamping, maintenance pit activation, painting and water boring works have been initiated at the UP Morr bus depot. Thirty-nine of the 644 bus shelters have been constructed for the project.

One hundred and twenty of the 250 buses have been shipped from the Shanghai port. Six bus depots — Surjani Town, UP Morr, Mehran, Gulshan-e-Ghazi, Gulshan-e-Bahar and Larkana — will be licensed to the NRTC. The Surjani Town and UP Morr bus depots have been officially handed over to the NRTC.

Buses arrive today

Holding a meeting with the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) regarding vehicles for Orange Line, Memon said the buses will reach the port on Wednesday (today) and the depot a week after that.

He ordered that the training schedule for the Orange Line bus drivers should be finalised so that their training can begin as soon as the buses arrive. He said he wants to see the buses plying the Orange Line track as soon as possible. He mentioned that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the CM will inaugurate the project.

The transport minister again directed the SMTA officials to remain at the camp office of the Orange Line project to monitor the pace of work. He directed the National Engineering Services Pakistan consultant to complete the work of posting sign boards, fixing docking rubbers, and installing the IT system and the monitoring system.

The SIDCL gave a detailed briefing on the various stages of the project after the arrival of buses at the depot. The meeting also discussed the integration of the Orange Line into the Green Line. The meeting was briefed that the estimated cost of the integration is Rs450 million.

The meeting was told that after the integration, Orange Line buses will run between Nagan Chowrangi and the Board Office, making the project cost-effective and lessening the burden of subsidy on the provincial government. Memon ordered working on the Orange Line’s integration design, yet focusing on making the project operational as soon as possible.