ISLAMABAD: The French government has agreed to provide a soft loan of Rs12.3 billion (65 million euros) for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line Project in Karachi.
In order to facilitate the credit, Ambassador of France in Pakistan Marc Barety and the French Agency for Development (AFD) country director signed a credit financing agreement with Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed in Islamabad.
The project would be co-financed by Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Green Climate Fund and AFD.
According to officials, the red line is proposed to connect with the green line (currently under construction) at Numaish station for seamless and connected operations. The red line services will then continue on the shared common corridor from Numaish station till Merewether Tower.
Officials said the soft loan of Rs12.3 billion for the project shows the substantial efforts made by development agencies towards the betterment of people’s livelihoods.
“It will be one of the very first collaborative operations for AIIB and GCF in Pakistan on urban development,” a French embassy press release stated.
The project includes construction of 26.6km BRT corridor in Karachi, encompassing the both red line corridor (24.2km) and common corridor segment (2.4km) as well as feeder and direct services routes to the nearby communities.
Beyond the 26.6km corridor infrastructure, the project is innovative in many ways, and on climate change mitigation, the choice is made for the bio-methane hybrid bus technology, powered by a dedicated waste methanisation plant. This technology combined with the massive transport supply, will further limit CO2 emissions from the public transport system.
The holistic street approach for this urban development project is to include organization and facilities for the all public space along the BRT corridor, whereas its gender and social inclusion dimensions are through the adoption of good practices in accessibility and gender mainstreaming.
In addition, the project includes a support component for the transition of the existing bus sector with the integration of informal operators into the new system, which is an essential prerequisite for their proper and full commissioning.