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Governor censures Sindh govt over delay in starting Green Line

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said on Friday that the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government was supposed to bring buses for the Green Line bus rapid transit project, but so far it had failed to do so.

Talking to reporters at the Pakistan Lifestyle and Furniture Expo exhibition, he said that the share of the federal government in the Green Line project was 80 per cent and the remaining 20pc was the responsibility of Sindh government.

“Till date, they [Sindh govt] have not brought buses for the project and I am going to write them that they should hand it over to us if they are not interested; the federal government will bring buses and make the project operational for the people of Karachi,” said the governor.

Transport minister says the federal government is just playing politics on the issue

He said that there was no master plan for Karachi and a city without such an important document certainly faced serious issues.

He said that the Sindh government was suggested to have a time-frame regarding implementation of Karachi development projects, a third-party audit, but it did not respond to the proposal.

In reply to another question, Governor Ismail said that he would have no objection if the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government wanted to display its flag on the city’s development projects.

The governor said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking special interest in development of Karachi and Sindh and recently he held a meeting to review the projects being undertaken by the Karachi Infrastructure Development Company Limited (KIDCL).

“The jurisdiction of the KIDCL has been extended to all over Sindh and [it would] take up new projects worth around Rs50 billion,” he added.

An APP report quoted the governor as telling a private TV channel on Friday that the projects included desalination plants, reinforcement of Northern Bypass, removal of debris, water and sewerage system, gray water for industrial sectors, etc.

“We have been facing hurdles with the Sindh government being run by the PPP, but we are trying to go with them for the completion of the public welfare projects,” he said, adding that the Green Line would be operational within the next four to six month.

In reply to a question, the governor said that the Karachi mayor had demanded Rs200 million from the provincial government to lift debris generated in the aftermath of the anti-encroachment drive. However, he said the mayor did not get the funds.

About Orange Line train project for Karachi, he said talks would be held with the World Bank for funds.

Transport minister

Sindh Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah on Friday said the Green Line project belonged to the federal government and had it been spearheaded by the provincial government, buses would have already been running on roads.

“This [Green Line] is the federal government’s project; else everyone would have seen its completion in time,” he told reporters at his office.

Mr Shah urged Islamabad to get the Green Line project completed as soon as possible and hand it over to the Sindh government for its operation as it was part of a deal that provided that the provincial authorities would control its bus service and computer system.

The minister said the Sindh government had written several letters to the Centre asking that when would the project be handed over to it.

“The federal government is just playing politics; as a matter of fact, it does not want to do anything. Here, the Sindh government is ready [to run the project] while on the other hand, the federation is making excuses.”

He said it took time to procure new buses. The federal government had issued tenders and released funds, he added.

He hoped that the prime minister would not take “yet another U-turn” and make sure that the project was started and provide relief to the people of Karachi.

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