CM Sindh, ADB agree on underground station for BRT project
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday gave ten days to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop a plan to construct underground and mezzanine floor for BRT Station at Numaish so that final decision could be taken to start the project.
The chief minister in his meeting with ADB Country Director, Pakistan Resident Mission Ms. Xiaohong Yang and Mian Shaukat Shafi, Head Urban Unit ADB, discussed several projects including supporting public-private partnership investments in Sindh, the Proposed Sindh Education Sector Investment Programme and ongoing and future energy and transport sector projects and the BRT in Karachi.
CM Sindh said that the major objective of BRT is to improve the urban transport system (UTS) of Karachi. He thanked the ADB for providing technical and financial support to implement BRT corridor and strengthening institutions and organisations managing the urban sector.
It may be noted that the project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) would build on feasibility studies for priority BRT corridors undertaken by JICA for Green and Red Lines, and the government for Yellow Line. The ADB has approved a $9.7 million Project Design Advance (PDA) loan for BRT project.
ADB Country Director suggested establishing an underground and mezzanine floor for the station at Numaish which must be developed a retail area. CM Sindh said that it would consume more time to start the project.
However, Ms. Yang suggested to involve engineers and expert team of the ADB to design and monitor execution of the project. The chief minister gave ten days to provide him a detailed report containing estimated cost and completion period.
The ADB is working on 21.5 km long Red Line BRT starting from Model Colony, airport, University Road, NIPA and Numaish which will cost around $200 million. CM Sindh also approved establishment of Karachi Bus Rapid Transit Company responsible for operation and maintenance of different Lines.
ADB to improve education sector in three main areas
The ADB and school education department has identified three areas, including increasing access at secondary education level, improve teacher quality and capacity and introduce examination reforms.
To increase access at secondary level would involve strengthening government’s school education programs such as Education Management Organisations (EMOs) programmes and those operated by Sindh Education Foundation, improve public school infrastructure including class rooms, laboratories and missing facilities such as drinking water, toilets and boundary walls.
The Teacher Quality, Teacher Management and Accountability for Improved Secondary Eduaction Outcomes (TQTMAISEO) project involves support for programmes aimed at improving teacher training, recruitment and placement, as well as measures to strengthen teacher performance.
The improvement in examination reforms would involve support for improving the structure and design of secondary education examination system. CM Sindh directed Secretary School Education Iqbal Durani to submit concept paper with ADB so that the project could be approved.
Enhancing public private partnership project approved
The other project discussed was Enhancing Public Private Partnership project. Chairman Planning and Development Mohammad Waseem said the project envisages strengthening Sindh government’s capacity to select, develop and effectively manage fiscal risk, and strengthen project management capacity of concerned departments in PPP projects.
The project costs $184.13 million in which ADB loan would be 54 percent, DFID grant would be eleven percent while Sindh government’s share would be 35 percent. CM Sindh approved the project and directed to release five million rupees to start the project.