ISLAMABAD: The much-delayed Green Line bus project in Karachi appears close to completion as Planning Minister Asad Umar on Sunday said that commercial operations are set to begin from December 25.
In a tweet in this regard, the minister said that the project will be ready for a trial operation within the next 10 days, following which it will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan to launch commercial activities.
“I conducted a detailed reviewed the Karachi Green Line project on Saturday. With the grace of Allah, this project will be ready for trial operation in the next 10 days,” he wrote.
Work on the Rs16.85 billion federal government-funded bus project had begun after then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif performed the groundbreaking in February 2016. Later, the project was extended by another 10 kilometres as initially sought by the Sindh government and the estimated cost crossed the figure of Rs24bn.
The project was estimated to be completed by the end of 2017 but kept getting new deadlines. Since the launch of the scheme, battered roads on either side of the route have turned into a great source of nuisance for commuters and shopkeepers alike.
The first batch of 40 buses had arrived in the city on Sept 19 which the planning minister had called the beginning of modern public transport service for Karachiites after a gap of 40 years.
On October 21, the second and final consignment of 40 buses for the Green Line project arrived in the city, raising the number of buses to 80, and rekindling citizens’ hope that the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the metropolis was set to be launched. The project will facilitate travel of approximately 300,000 passengers daily.
Karachi’s Green Line BRT project including intersections is 24km long which includes a 12.7km elevated path, 10.9km at ground path, and 422 meters underground path, and 25 stations. The phase-II common corridor from Gurumandir up to Municipal Park with a length of 2.5km has two underpasses at M. A. Jinnah Road.