KARACHI: The Green Line bus rapid transit project, which is expected to be completed by March 2020, would provide the much-needed transport facility to hundreds of thousands of people of Karachi initially with 65 diesel-hybrid buses, a senior official said on Monday.
The disclosure came during a briefing by officials of the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) during a meeting presided over by President Dr Arif Alvi at the Governor House.
The briefing to the president covered details of federal government-funded under construction projects and those planned for the current fiscal year in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail was also present on the occasion.
According to a statement issued by the Governor House, SIDCL chief executive officer Sualeh Farooqi informed the meeting that the company had completed phase-I of the 21km dedicated corridor of the Green Line bus project, along with OCC building and depot, saving an amount of around Rs1 billion. He said civil work on phase-II was under progress, which included construction of 1.1km underpass, 462-metre underground bus terminal and 1.5km common corridor from Guru Mandar to Municipal Park on M.A. Jinnah Road.
He said the Sindh government had recommended the construction of at-grade common corridor on M.A. Jinnah Road on a priority basis.
The president was informed that the federal government had allocated Rs2.5bn during the current financial year for the operation of Green Line. Mr Farooqi said the SIDCL was going to float request for proposal, enabling the management to start procurement of a fleet of 65 diesel-hybrid buses for Green Line service.
“President was subsequently briefed on the status of schemes under the Karachi package. He was informed that during the first quarter of current financial year, the SIDCL will complete three major schemes of infrastructure improvement which include 8.1km-long Manghopir Road from Jam Chakro to Banaras Chowk, 6.9km Manghopir Road from Banaras Chowk to Nishter Road and 6.4km Nishter Road from Teen Hatti to Napier Road,” the statement said.
Construction of three flyovers, it added, along Shershah Suri Road at Sakhi Hassan, Five Star and KDA roundabouts was also under progress.
The SIDCL CEO informed the meeting that the company had approached the National Disaster Management Authority to avail Rs700 million grant through Risk Management Fund by earmarking matching grant of Rs300m. This would enable the SIDCL to utilise funds in drought-hit areas and strengthen local agencies with modern disaster recovery tools, he said.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2019