Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah formally launched on Friday the people’s bus service which had initially a fleet of 36 reconditioned CNG buses.
After the inauguration, the chief minister also took a short trip in a bus from Chief Minister House to the PIDC building along with journalists.
The 36 buses were part of a fleet of 72 CNG buses launched by the city government during the tenure of Nazim Mustafa Kamal but the buses soon wore out for want of necessary maintenance and were consigned to the Surjani and Korangi terminals after plying for just a year or so.
The Sindh government spent Rs 40 million to bring the buses back to roads in collaboration with the KMC which were to ply by the end of June but the project was delayed due some to technical problems.
The chief minister said earlier at the launching ceremony at CM House that the launch of 36-bus fleet to be followed by another fleet within a month would provide improved transport service to one third of the commuters in the city.
He said that city dwellers were facing great difficulties because of law and order conditions and lack of transport when they had to wait for hours at the bus stands to get transport to reach their workplace from their home and vice versa.
He said that other transport projects like BRT, Green Line, Yellow Line and Orange Line were also under process which would soon give the city a better transport system matching its status of being a mega city.
The chief minister mentioned his recent visit to China along with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the invitation of the Communist Party of China and said they took up the transport issue of Karachi and other parts of Sindh besides power generation projects.
He said the Chinese had also shown interest in yellow line transport service and Karachi circular railway project which was to receive Japanese investment but in the last CCI meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif informed the Sindh government that Japanese loan which was for 40 years on 0.4 per cent interest rate was no more available as the government had failed to take advantage of their offer.
The chief minister appealed to people to take care of the buses which were being plied to mitigate their sufferings. The government was also striving to address other civic problems besides the transport issue as per vision of the PPP leaders Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari.
Sindh Minister for Transport Mumtaz Jakhrani said during the visit to China, the chief minister had signed three MoUs on transport and hoped these projects would bring about a transport revolution in Karachi in next three years.
Minister for Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon said it was the PPP which had always taken initiative in launching development work in Karachi, like the projects of flyover bridges, K-4 to improve water supply and S-3 sewerage project and sanitation, improved medical services and other development projects.
KMC Administrator Rauf Akhtar Farooqui also mentioned other development projects being executed in the city and said with the implementation of other transport schemes people would soon get a better transport system and get rid of Qingqi rickshaws.