Bus project may reduce 21 percent carbon emissions: WWF-Pakistan
The WWF-Pakistan on Friday said the proposed Green Line BRT project would help scale down 21 percent carbon emission in the city. In this connection, WWF-Pakistan organised a consultative workshop on findings of a study conducted on Carbon Emissions Reduction from Karachi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and potential Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project (Pakstran), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at a local hotel.
Speaking at the workshop, Director Planning and Co-ordination Karachi Mass Transit Cell, Sindh government, Fazal Karim Khatri said that the bus project would help reduce greenhouse effects and energy use. The project will also help improve environment of the city. He said that the project would enshrine five corridors to help run rapid mass transit including Green, Orange, Red, Blue and Yellow Lines. He said that Green Line was stretched over 18 kilometres from Surjani Town to Jama Cloth Market, costing Rs 16 billion with 80 buses. This Line will provide ridership to around 400,000 passengers each day.
The Orange Line route with total length of 2.2 kilometres will start from TMA to Jinnah University and will join Green Line, he said, adding that the Yellow one would operate from Dawood Chowrangi to Numaish Chowrangi following to Regal Chowk through 8000 roads, Korangi Road and FTC.
“This Line, with 70 buses, would spread over 26.5 kilometres and will cost around 14 billion rupees,” he said. This Line will have 22 pedestrian bridges, 24 stations and 18 parks. He said that it would provide ridership to 150000 people. The Red Line will cover 21.5 kilometres from Model Colony to Mazar-e-Quaid to serve 350000 commuters a day with a luxurious ridership, costing Rs 15 billion, he added.
Fazal Karim said that the Blue Line was the largest one striding over 54 kilometres with a capacity of 357, 000 passengers daily. “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,” he said. Component Manager Pakstran, UNDP, Yar Muhammad said that the BRT would have a huge impact in term of reducing Green House Gases (GHG) besides saving travel time and cost. The UNDP is supporting government and other organisations who are working on improvement of transport environment in country, he said.
Senior Manager, WWF-Pakistan Ali Dehlavi discussed the study findings, saying that the BRT would reduce 21 percent of vehicular emissions relative to baseline year of 2015. Chairman Department of Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, NED University, Professor Dr Mir Shabbar Ali said that the project should have been initiated earlier so that it could have reduced more carbon emissions, which affected the environment.
The project will require a close co-ordination of different departments so the government should formulate an authority to integrate them on one platform. He appreciated WWF-Pakistan’s efforts especially the mathematical modelling and detailed scientific analysis of carbon emissions. M Ali Rasheed, Executive Member, Shehri-Citizen for Better Environment, a civil society organisation 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.
Assistant Chief of Transport and Communication, Planning and Development Department, Sikander Ali Shaikh observed that the sustainability of mega projects Operation and Maintenance (O and M) cost was instrumental, which was mostly overlooked. He suggested that for success of the BRT project this cost must be reviewed if it is not sufficiently allocated otherwise, this could lead to a failure.
Muhammad Saleem Jalbani, Assistant Chief, Planning and Development Department said that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was a vital tool to assess the feasibility of such projects therefore it was indispensable to go ahead on the project without the findings of EIA. He was of the view that strong institutional mechanism should also be in place to run this project effectively. Tayyib Aftab, Assistant Manager, Corporate Affairs, Atlas Honda Limited said that citizens would prefer BRT as local transport was not safe.