ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Monday set deadlines to put into operation two mega transport projects in Karachi — the Rs300 billion Karachi Circular Railway and Rs25bn Green Line Bus Rapid Transport — later this year.
The ministry in a statement said that the deadline for signing of first package (A) of the Integrated Transport System (ITS) contract has been set as March 26, followed by package B contract signing on April 2. The deadline for award of operational and maintenance contract for the project would be given by May this year.
While presiding over a meeting of all the stakeholders — Ministry of Railways, Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (SIDCL) and Public-Private Partnership Authority (P3A) — the minister confirmed that the prototype buses would be ready for testing and commissioning by April 25.
While reviewing the KCR Freight Corridor project, the minister directed the Ministry of Railways, SIDCL, and P3A to finalise the Tripartite Agreement to determine the scope of work reflecting the role of each party in the mutually agreed projects to be initiated in Public Private Partnership/Build-Operate and Transfer modes.
Mr Umar directed that the Green Line BRT should be operational by August 2021 and asked SIDCL to review all the activities to achieve specific timelines with a partial and complete solution of ITS implementation.
The ministry said the meeting reviewed the pace of the Green Line BRT and KCR projects. Chief Operating Officer of SIDCL Bilal Memon briefed the meeting about the matters related to Green Line infrastructure progress and procurement update on operational sides of BRT.
The minister said the federal government was taking all measures to expedite the BRT project so as to ease the problems faced by Karachiites, currently exposed to hardship due to the absence of adequate public transport.
He said the federation was working beyond its responsibility to give Karachi its due rights.
Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2021