Karachi: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has announced that the Chinese buses will start running on the roads under the Green Line project within a few days.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the first modern Green Line bus system in next two weeks in Karachi. The work on Green Line project would be completed in 10 to 12 days,” he told a Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) workers’ convention here.
Work on the Pakistani Rs 16.85 billion federal government-funded bus project had begun after then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated it in February 2016 by performing the groundbreaking.
Later, the project was extended by another 10 kilometres as initially sought by the Sindh provincial government and the estimated cost crossed the figure of Rs 24 billion.
The project was proposed to be completed by the end of 2017, but kept getting new deadlines. Since the launch of the scheme, the battered roads on either side of the route have turned into a great source of nuisance for commuters and for the shopkeepers doing their businesses.
The second and final consignment of 40 buses for the Green Line project arrived in the city on October 21 from China, raising the number of buses to 80, rekindling citizens’ hope that Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the metropolis was set to be launched. It is supposed to facilitate travel of approximately 300,000 passengers daily.
The first batch of 40 buses had arrived in the city from China on September 19 which the planning minister had referred to as a “ray of hope” and “milestone,” calling it the beginning of modern public transport service for Karachiites after a long gap of 40 years.
China has been playing a key role in facilitating a better transport system in Pakistan. The multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has spread a network of road and railway lines, connecting the previously far-flung areas to the main cities.