KARACHI: The Sindh government is in talks with local and foreign players to bring electric cars in Karachi to ply them as online E-taxi service, a key member of the provincial cabinet said on Sunday.
Sindh Information, Transport and Mass Transit Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon did not share details about the proposed cab service and the role of the government in a purely commercial operation during his interaction with reporters during his visit to the construction site of the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project near Jinnah Avenue, Malir.
“A modern, affordable and environment-friendly electric taxi service will be launched in Karachi and extended to other major cities of the province,” he said. “Negotiations are under way on the project and the Sindh government is working seriously on it.”
He said that the existing online taxi services in the city were charging very high fares due to the rising cost of petroleum products. “The Sindh government is endeavouring to provide affordable taxi service to the citizens.”
Sharjeel says all federal institutions including Malir Cantt are extending full support for Red Line project
He said the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party had directed him to expedite the pace of work on all ongoing public transport projects in Karachi so as to address the long-standing transport issue of the city.
Mr Memon added that public transport projects with the investment of billions of rupees had been launched in city. The Sindh Mass Transit Authority was working day and night to increase the number of buses in the city and improve the transport infrastructure, he added.
He said the work on the 22-km-long Red Line project was in process at a rapid pace. It starts from Malir Halt and passes through University Road before its integration with Green Line at Numaish traffic intersection.
The minister said Red Line, launched with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, was the Pakistan’s first project which would be run on biogas. In this regard, the construction of Pakistan’s first biogas plant would be started soon, he said.
He said that Sindh was the first province that had started an electric bus service in the field of public transport and now the work on Red Line running on eco-friendly biogas was in progress.
He said that the Sindh transport department had started Orange Line and Peoples Bus Service.
Soon the electric bus service would also begin its formal operations in the city, he said, adding that paper work on the Yellow Line project with the support of the World Bank was in final stages and the construction would commence soon.
He said that all major cities of the world had modern public transport system, including the BRT service. The Sindh government was endeavouring to bring a modern public transport system in Karachi.
In response to a question, he said that all federal institutions, including the Cantonment Board Malir, had taken ownership of the Red Line project and were extending full support in its construction.
He said that all encroachments in the corridor of the Red Line project would be removed and local administration had been given a week to remove all encroachments.
Commenting on former prime minister Imran Khan’ss announcement that all lawmaker belonging to his party would resign from every assembly, he said that it was an attempt to divert the attention of people from real issues.
He added that Imran Khan staged the long march for getting a date for the next general election, but he ended up with the announcement of resignation. He said if he was serious, the former prime minister would have asked President Arif Alvi to resign first.
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2022