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KARACHI: The city will have a new bus service called City Transport Service with a fleet of 600 Daewoo buses within the next two months.

This was stated by Sindh Transport Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while talking to Dawn here on Monday. In response to a question, the minister said that all paperwork had been completed as “we have been working on this transport project for the last six months and within the next three days its advertisements would appear in the press for finalising it under the Modaraba scheme.”

When asked about the city transport scheme which he had mentioned during his talk with the media after a meeting with City Mayor Wasim Akhtar, the minister said that many transporters had come forward and shown their interest in operating new buses under the scheme under which the transporter would have to arrange only 15 per cent finance. The share of the Sindh government would also be 15pc while 70pc finance would be arranged under the Modaraba scheme at an interest rate of 3.5pc, which would not cross 5pc but this additional 1.5pc interest rate would also be shared by the Sindh government.

In reply to another question, Nasir Shah said that an additional attraction in that scheme was the arrangement by the Sindh government to get every bus insured to dispel the fear of the transporter of running losses in case the bus was burned during disturbances in the city.

He further said that the new buses would stop only at their designated stops for which locations had already been determined.

In reply to another question, the minister said work on the Green Line Metro project had been delayed a little because of objection over its elevated portion near the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam. “However, all our efforts are to make the project operational according to the schedule as the objections raised are already being sorted out,” he said.

Earlier talking to the media after his meeting with the city mayor, the minister said the city transport service project was in an advanced stage as its authority had already been set up whose vice chairman was the city mayor.

He said he hoped that all matters would be sorted out amicably and the new fleet would ease the hardship faced by the commuters.

He said he had met the mayor on a directive of the chief minister for sorting out differences between the Sindh government and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. Terming the meeting productive, he said the government was ready to extend any cooperation the KMC required.

On the occasion, the mayor also said that the new transport service being worked out in the interest of the citizens would help resolve transport issues.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2017