The Blue Line Bus Rapid Transit project from Sohrab Goth to Merewether Tower has not been abandoned or cancelled but the private party interest has withdrawn from the work, clarified the Sindh chief minister on Sunday, July 21.
According to a handout from CM House, Murad Ali Shah said that his government was exploring an alternate source to launch it. The handout did not specify the private party’s name but in 2014, Bahria Town had given the government an unsolicited proposal that it would build the Blue line. It would have cost Rs30b at the time. It had enlisted the local Exponent Engineering and a Chinese company.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency or Jica had created a transport master plan for Karachi to meet its needs up to 2030. It had recommended six BRT lines among others. Part of this plan was to get the Karachi Circular Railway working again.
The Asian Development Bank and World Bank are helping launch the Yellow and Red lines. Both projects have been approved by the ADB and WB and have been sent to ECNEC for final approval. “I have requested the federal finance minister to approve both these projects in ECNEC so that we can start work on them,” said the CM. He added the federal finance minister has assured him that these projects would be approved at the next ECNEC meeting.
It is difficult to keep track of the BRT projects. The federal government, under Nawaz Sharif, had promised Karachi the Green line. The Karachi Infrastructure Development Company (KIDCL) was formed. It appears to have been since transferred to the Cabinet Division.