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KARACHI: Operation of the much-needed Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Karachi project is now one step away as the country finally received a cargo vessel loaded with some 40 state-of-the-art buses here on Sunday, after a long wait.

The second consignment of 40 more buses is expected to reach in October 2021; and the phase-1 of Green Line Project would be made operational by the end of November.

On the occasion of the arrival of the buses, a grand reception ceremony was held jointly by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (SIDCL) at Karachi Port Trust (KPT) east wharf Keamari.

Governor Sindh Imran Ismail while addressing the event said that the another milestone has been achieved as a part of the Prime Minister's Karachi Transformation Package (KTP) which has the single objective of improving the wellbeing and better service delivery of Karachiites.

Imran Ismail appreciated the efforts made by SIDCL ensuring completion of Green Line project within its timelines. The dedicated Corridor will serve some of Karachi's most populated areas, namely Surjani Town to Gurumandir and Numaish Chowrangi as Phase 1.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that Green Line BRTS is a modern technology-based transport system comprising a 22km dedicated corridor aimed at providing easier mobility and facilitating 135,000 passengers per day.

He informed that a comprehensive Command and Control Centre had been established for the projects including Green Line, Orange Line, etc. He said that the Green Line was the first state-of-the-art project, which was being introduced to the city with 20.5 kilometre long corridor. A bus depot had been built for 80 buses whereas 22 bus stations had been completed.

Nadeem Lodhi, CEO SIDCL explained to the audience that the underlying fleet is low entry 18m Articulated Diesel-Hybrid self-charging technology which benefits the environment. The Fleet is equipped with Modern Intelligent Transport System (ITS) such as Automatic Location System, Real Time Passenger Information, Surveillance Cameras and Auto-doors.

The fleet is designed to offer comfortable modular seats, air-conditioning, digital screens and space for advertisement. The fleet is designed to cater to people with special needs, will also benefit the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels, limiting emissions & reduced journey time. Post Port clearance, the fleet will be transported under the supervision of a Chinese technical team to its new home at the dedicated Bus Depot located in Surjani Town.

Following an intense period of technical reviews, inspection, class room driver training etc, the fleet will commence training sorties on the corridor by mid-October. Subsequent to full-fledged User Acceptance Testing (UAT), Green Line commercial operations will commence by end of November 2021.

The ceremony was also attended by Federal Minister Ali Zaidi, Federal Minister Amin ul Haq, Special Assistant to PM on Maritime Mahmood Moulvi and members of National and Provincial Assemblies of PTI.

It is relevant to mention here that the BRT project had been started back in 2016 by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, however, due to various reasons, the project has yet not been operational.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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