KARACHI: While describing the buses recently brought on Karachi roads under different transport schemes by the Sindh government as “much better than the buses running in the developed world”, the provincial administration of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday invited transporters and businessmen to invest in this sector, where they “would be facilitated for bank loans and government subsidies”.
The offer came at the launch of the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) which was finally opened for public after more than six years of its groundbreaking.
In June 2016, the groundbreaking of the Orange Line project was performed by the then Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, four months after the groundbreaking of the Green Line performed by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Despite having the shortest route in comparison with all five BRTs in Karachi — 3.8 kilometres — the Orange Line took more than six years to become operational. However, despite the delay, the Sindh government believes that it is “a gift for the people of Karachi” and more such projects are likely to be launched soon.
Sharjeel offers investors in transport sector support in bank loans, govt subsidies
Speaking to journalists at the launching ceremony of Orange Line at one of its stations, Sindh Information, Transport and Mass Transit Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon invited the private sector to take interest in the public transport system where the government was ready to extend every possible support.
“If our transporters, investors or businessmen want to bring such buses or want to make any investment in this area, the Sindh government will offer all possible support, ranging from facilitating soft loans from banks to providing government subsidies on different accounts,” he said.
Earlier launched as Orange Line, the service has been renamed after Abdul Sattar Edhi as the Abdul Sattar Edhi Line.
Accompanied by Edhi Foundation’s Faisal Edhi, Provincial Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, special assistant to chief minister of Sindh Ahmed Ali Jan, PPP legislators and senior officials, the transport minister also took a ride of the bus before interacting with the media.
Green Line connection
Mr Memon said that the service would be connected with the Green Line bus service soon and in the second phase of its expansion it would be plying up to Nagan Chowrangi.
“Keeping in view the high inflation burden on people, the fare of the Orange Line is kept low and it is fixed from Rs10 to maximum Rs20,” he announced.
“Although the petroleum price has increased substantially over the past several months, the Sindh government wants to provide maximum relief to the people. This project has been completed under the direction of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. And another project of the public transport in Karachi will also be launched soon.”
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2022