Proposed Karachi BRT project would help reduce 21 per cent carbon emissions: WWF-Pakistan
Karachi, WWF-Pakistan with financial assistance of Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project (PAKSTRAN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized a one day consultative workshop on a findings of a study conducted on Carbon Emissions Reduction from Karachi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and potential Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Fazal Karim Khatri, Director, Planning and Coordination, Karachi Mass Transit Cell, Government of Sindh gave an overview of BRT project and shared that it aims at reducing the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions from transport sector so that urban environmental conditions are improved. He informed that five corridors have been designed under this project for rapid mass transit which include Green, Orange, Red, Blue and Yellow lines. Out of these, Green line is inaugurated today by Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Giving the details, he shared that Green Line is stretched over 18 kilometres from Surjani town to Jama Cloth Market, costing 16 billion rupees with the fleet of 80 articulated buses. This line will provide ridership to around 400,000 passengers each day. He mentioned that the Orange Line route with the total length of 2.2 kilometres starts from TMA to Jinnah University and would join the Green Line. While, Yellow Line would start from DawoodChowrangi to NumaishChowrangi and Regal Chowk via 8000 Road, Korangi Road and FTC. This line, with 70 buses, would spread over 26.5 kilometres and will cost around 14 billion rupees. This linewould consist of 22 pedestrian bridges, 24 stations and 18 park and ride facilities. It would provide ridership to 150000 people. Moreover, the Red Line would cover 21.5 kilometres, starting from Model Colony to Mazar-e-Quaid. This line would serve 350000 people each day with a luxurious ridership and cost of around 15 billion rupees. The Blue line is the largest line stretching over 54 kilometres, has the capacity of 357000 ridership per day. This project is being implemented in public-private mode as BRT that would be converted to MRT in future. The total cost of the line is estimated to be 67,280 million rupees.
Yar Muhammad, Component Manager, PAKSTRAN, UNDP said that BRT project would have a huge impact in terms of reducing Green House Gases (GHG) as well as saving travel time and cost for the consumers. He further shared that UNDP is supporting government and other organizations who are working on improvement of transport environment in country. He also expressed his interest to jointly hold another workshop next monthinviting all stakeholders including transport owners for detailed briefing on the proposed project.
Ali Dehlavi, Senior Manager, WWF-Pakistan sharing the key findings of this study said that this BRT will reduce 21 per cent ofvehicular emissions relative to baseline year of 2015. Further, talking about development impacts from BRT project, he said that the most significant of these relatesto recovered productivity gains from estimated 19 minutes reduction in travel time of the Karachi working population who are predicted to use BRT.
While,Prof.Dr.Mir Shabbar Ali, Chairman Department of Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, NED University shared that this project should have been initiated earlier so that it could have reduced more carbon emissions which affect our environment. He was of the view that this project would require close coordination of different departments so government should formulate an authority to integrate them on one platform. He appreciated the efforts of WWF-Pakistan especially the mathematical modelling and detailed scientific analysis of carbon emissions.
M. Ali Rasheed,Executive member,Shehri-Citizen for Better Environment, a civil society organization said that there is a need to create awareness among Karachiites to use this transport facility so that people may know about environmental and other benefits of this transport system. While, Sikander Ali Shaikh, Assistant Chief, Transport and Communication, Planning and Development department said that it has been observed that for sustainability of mega projects Operation and Maintenance (O and M) cost is instrumental which is mostly overlooked. He suggested that for success of BRT project this cost must be reviewed if it is not sufficiently allocated otherwise, this could lead to a failure.
Muhammad SaleemJalbani, Assistant Chief, Planning and Development Departmentremarked that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is a vital tool to assess the feasibility of such projects therefore, it is indispensable to go ahead on this project without the findings of EIA. He was of the view that strong institutional mechanism should also be in place to run this project in an effective way. TayyibAftab, Assistant Manager, Corporate Affairs, Atlas Honda limited shared that citizens will prefer BRT as local transport is not safe and takes a lot of time to arrive at the destination point.
Naveed Ali Soomro, Environmental Engineer, WWF-Pakistan and UmairShahid Coordinator WWF-Pakistan also spoke on the occasion.
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