Sindh govt sets aside Rs6.5 bn to procure electric buses for Karachi

Sindh govt sets aside Rs6.5 bn to procure electric buses for Karachi

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The Sindh government has set aside Rs6.5 billion in its new budget for the financial year 2021-22 for buying electric buses for Karachi.

Chief Minister Said Murad Ali Shah said in his budget speech on Tuesday that modern cities need modern transportation systems.

“We can engage in a never-ending blame game. But we will not waste our time. Previously, we have unrolled multiple mass-transit programmes for Karachi and now we will intensify these programmes,” the CM said.

He said that the Sindh Provincial Government’s annual development plan for the next fiscal year includes an allocation of 8.2 billion rupees for the construction of a rapid transit service corridor in the city.

“We are also thankful to the federal government for extending its support for the construction of Green Line BRTS, but we expect that the Government of Pakistan may revisit its commitment for the development of the Karachi city.”

The new budget allocates 2 billion rupees for the construction of underpasses and viaducts at railway crossings along the Karachi Circular Railway project. It also includes an allocation of 64.76 billion rupees to purchase 250 diesel hybrid electric buses under the People’s Bus Service Project in Sindh Province.

The red line part of BRTS has been launched in 2021, costing 75 billion rupees, and is expected to break ground in the third quarter of 2021.

“It will improve arterial connectivity of Malir and East districts with the Central business district,” said the CM. The proposed budget includes an allocation of Rs109.36 billion for carrying out various development projects in Karachi.

“In view of the immense significance of Karachi as a financial/economic hub of the country, the highest chunk of the foreign loan/PPP (Public-Private Partnership) mode projects has been reserved for Karachi. Currently, there are 1,072 projects in the ADP, Foreign Project Assistance and PPP mode in Karachi district for the total cost of Rs991.7 billion.”

There are 16 PPP model projects in Karachi, and the estimated start-up cost in the road infrastructure, water, information technology and health sectors is 288.96 billion rupees. In addition, Karachi has six projects jointly funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in the past two years, with a total approved cost of 436.68 billion rupees. The allocation reserved for 2021-22 is 396.19 billion rupees.

In addition, there are projects in the Karachi branch in the provincial ADP and the district ADP, with a total cost of 266.15 billion rupees, which are in different stages of implementation. The total allocation of the plan is 619.4 billion rupees.

The Government of Sindh, in collaboration with the World Bank, has initiated the Karachi Competitive and Livable City of Karachi (CLICK) Project. This project not only aims to improve governance but would also provide financial support to the local bodies to invest in the improvement of municipal infrastructure. Over Rs20 billion would be spent by the local bodies on the infrastructure of Karachi.

Under the project work on important schemes such as the construction of a 6.5km road from Machli Chowk to KANNUP at a cost of Rs800 million would be completed during 2021-22. Also, through the project, an amount of Rs5.2 billion would be disbursed amongst local councils of Karachi during the next financial year for the improvement of municipal infrastructure.

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