Work to begin on motorway soon; Karachi operation to continue till city becomes ‘city of lights’ again
Amanullah Khan/Irfan Aligi
Karachi—Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday performed the groundbreaking ceremony of Green Line Bus Rapid Transit System in Karachi.
The project worth Rs16 billion is a significant milestone in upgrading and decongesting the overburdened transport infrastructure of Karachi. The project starts from Karachi’s Surjani Town area all the way to Gurumandir.
“It will be more beautiful than the Lahore metro bus,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told his audience during the groundbreaking ceremony.
“I am glad that this project has been launched within such short span of time. This project was extremely necessary for improving the transport system in Karachi; he said adding that this will be completed by next year.
“The elevated section is 11.7 kilometres long and 7.7km is the length of the section on the ground,” he said. “There will be 22 bus stations and separate lanes for coming and going.”
The Green Line was to meet the Blue Line at Gurumandir and then go on to Tower, he said, adding that because work was delayed on the Blue Line, he asked for the Green Line to be extended to the central business district.
The BRT will make life easy for residents of the areas it passes through, he said.
Lauding the transparency, efficiency and cost-savings on the project, the premier was hopeful it would be completed by next year, but “can’t promise it will be complete by April or May”.
Work will start on the Lyari Expressway in March, for which the federal government has released Rs1.9 billion already, he said.
He said work on the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway has started, while construction of the Hyderabad-Sukkur section of the motorway will be set to start within a month. The Sukkur-Multan and Multan-Lahore sections will also start soon, he said.
“These are mega projects that not only close distances, but also brings people’s hearts closer,” the prime minister said.
The prime minister pointed out that the law and order situation in Karachi has improved which has restored the economic activity in the mega city.
After its completion, the corridor is estimated to benefit nearly 300,000 passengers a day. The entire Rs16.85 million cost of the corridor funding has been provided by the federal government. A fully autonomous company – Karachi Infrastructure Development Company Limited (KIDCL) – has been incorporated to run the project.
Meanwhile, the prime minister on Friday reviewed law and order situation in Karachi at a meeting he chaired.
He appreciated the efforts of the law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in the city.
However, he expressed his concern over the rise in the incidents of street crimes in Karachi and directed the authorities to take measures to ensure elimination of street crimes.
“We will not halt the operation until the city of lights begins to shine again,” he said. “Karachi could have been the best city in South Asia, but we went off track and things kept getting worse. Now we are trying to fix things and need everyone to cooperate.” Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan thanked the prime minister for the mass transit project which he said was very significant for the development of Karachi.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also thanked the prime minister for providing financial assistance in the Green Line project. He a;lso praised the federal government for sharing 50 per cent cost of the K-4 water project in Karachi which will eliminate the water woes of the metropolis.