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Sindh approves launch of BRT, intracity bus projects

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah yesterday approved several projects of the Transport and Mass Transit Department (TMTD) including the Blue, Green and Orange Line BRT (bus rapid transit) projects, and the intracity bus project.

The Chief Minister chaired the 23rd meeting of Public-Private Policy (PPP) Board.

The Board approved the infrastructure component of the BRT Blue Line, proposed by a consortium of EA consulting.

As per the proposal, private equity in the component would be 16% and the Sindh government would bear 14% of the expenses, whereas the remaining 70% would be managed through a loan.

The estimated cost of the project is more than Rs16bn (US$144mn). In the event of price escalation, the Board stated that the provincial government would bear 50% of the costs.

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The TMTD also received an unsolicited proposal for intracity buses in the city.

The proposal proposes to supply up to 2,000 buses within two years on the nominated routes at the desired frequency as per the direction of the department.

The Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) would pay a fixed kilometre charge to the operator on the basis of achieving guaranteed minimum kilometres per year per bus.

The Chief Minister was told that the project intends to complement the BRT Lines and KCR (Karachi Circular Railway) by providing customers with the wider option of travelling to various destinations within Karachi.

The PPP board approved the hiring of transaction advisors for a feasibility study of the Intra-bus service in Karachi and approved funding for the same from the project development fund (PDF).

The SMTA in collaboration with the PPP Board launched the Green and Orange Line – Bus Operation service project and invited proposals, in which two bidders participated.

They were Daewoo Express Bus Service Ltd and A Consortium of Transport Pvt.

After adopting the due procedure, both the bidders were deemed qualified. The PPP Board approved the signing of a concessional agreement with the preferred bidder.

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