KARACHI: The federal government has planned to connect the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) with five under-construction Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors in the metropolis to ease the pressure of traffic on roads.
The plan was shared by Pakistan Railways officials while briefing Senate’s Standing Committee on Pakistan Railways. The meeting was held on Tuesday and was presided over by Chairman Muhammad Qasim at City Station in the port city.
The Railway officials briefed the Standing Committee regarding encroachment on Pakistan Railway’s land in Sindh and the measures to restore the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) to its original route.
“There is a plan to connect the KCR with the under-construction five BRT lines’ routes in the city,” the railway official told the meeting.
The Committee also recommended linking the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) with Jinnah International Airport in order to provide benefit to passengers coming from abroad and within the country.
The Committee briefed that Karachi Circular Railway will have electric trains and each train will have the capacity of not less than 814 passengers.
Karachi Breeze is a 112.9 km (70.2 mi) network of Bus Rapid Transit lines under construction in Karachi. The name was officially given by the Sindh Mass Transit Authority for Karachi’s Bus and Mass Rapid Transit system.
However, so far only one line, Green Line, is set to start service by the next month, while construction of Orange Line is underway. The construction work on Red Line BRT is likely to start in January 2022.
Green Line BRT
Karachi’s Green Line BRT project with intersections is 24 km long which includes 12.7 km elevated, 10.9 km at grade, and 422 meters underground, and has 25 stations.
The phase-II common corridor from Gurumandir up to Municipal Park with a length of 2.5 km has two underpasses at M.A Jinnah Road.
The state-of-art underground bus terminal with a parking facility and the commercial mezzanine floor was also constructed at Numaish intersection.
The construction work on Phase-I of the project was started in 2016. The project will be launched next month by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Orange Line BRT
The Orange Line bus project was launched by former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah in June 2016 to facilitate about 50,000 residents of Orangi Town.
The Orange Line bus project covers a distance of four kilometres from the Orangi Municipal Office to Matriculation Board Chowrangi. A total of 18 buses would run under this system.
The project, which was dedicated to late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, was supposed to be completed within a year since its groundbreaking in 2016.
Red Line BRT
The Red Line will span 26 km from Safoora to Tower. It is expected to have an average daily ridership of 625,000 passengers.
The route of the 26-kilometer BRT Red Line project will connect Model Colony to Johar Complex en route Jinnah Avenue and Malir Cantt while the buses will run through University Road, Hassan Square and Numaish roundabout.
4 stations would be constructed on this line which will run from Malir Halt to Numaish via Model Colony, Safoora Goth, King Cottages, Met Office, NED University, Safari Park, Nipa, Urdu University, Masjid Baitul Mukarram, Civic Centre, Askari Park, Dawood University and Society Office.
It would be the first-ever transport project to be run without any subsidy by the government, whereas, a wide cycling track will also be built along with the bus route.
The Sindh government had already awarded the contract for the civil work of the much-awaited Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
Yellow Line BRT
The Yellow Line BRT covers a distance of 21 kilometres from Dawood Chowrangi to Numaish Chowrangi.
The total cost of the project will be $438.9 million, of which the World Bank will have a share of $381.9 million, the Sindh government will pay $19.5 million.
Under the conceptual plan, eight underpasses will be constructed at Murtaza Chowrangi, Singer Chowrangi, Bilal Chowrangi, Vita Chowrangi, Shaan Chowrangi, Brooks Chowrangi, Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Korangi Road intersection, and at the Sunset Boulevard intersection. In addition, the Jam Sadiq Bridge will also be widened.
Meanwhile, the buses for the Yellow Line project will be procured on a public-private partnership basis.
Blue Line BRT
According to the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA), which was established under the SMTA Act 2016, Blue Line is a proposed bus rapid transit project. The project’s initial planning suggests that the 9.6-kilometre-long project was designed to go from Al-Asif Square in Sohrab Goth to Gurumandir through Shahrah-i-Pakistan.
At Gurumandir, the project will link with the Green Line project, which is being funded by the federal government.
Prime Minister Imran Khan last month had performed the groundbreaking of construction of infrastructure for the elimination of level crossings for the loop section of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
The project envisages the construction of flyovers and underpasses along the route of KCR for the elimination of 22-level crossings. The rationalised cost of the project is Rs20.71 billion on a cost-sharing basis. The project will facilitate the free movement of the KCR train.
KCR envisaged the construction of a 43km-long world-class affordable mass transit system using environment-friendly electric trains.
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