Karachi at the moment is facing public transport crisis. In recent times, the numbers of transport buses have witnessed a sharp decline. Due to the decrease in public transport vehicles, people have no other option but to travel on the roofs of available buses; others cling to any support or rod on these coaches to reach their destinations.

The commuters in Karachi face difficulties during intercity travelling. The government has decided to address the public transport issue of the most populace city of the country. The government wants to erect a public transport project worth Rs200 billion. Asian Development Bank (ADP) also welcomes the initiative as it has approved $235million loan to help develop Karachi’s Bus Rapid Transit project.

Undoubtedly, the metropolis needs a comprehensive public transport system as soon as possible. However, the lessons of Lahore and Peshawar must be kept in mind. The authorities need to study all the blunders that that were made in the construction of Orange Line Metro Train.

While the authorities were carried away the dream of development, no consideration was given to the environmental procedures and nuisances that the project created in the lives of common folks. It was the lack of proper homework by the government on protecting the Old Lahore that resulted in countless litigations and delay in the project. The city’s already depleted tree cover was further cut down for the sake of the train project. The project is far from completion to this day.

Similarly, Peshawar BRT project proved another sham while addressing the traffic woes of the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Lack of planning, poor design of the infrastructure, massive bribes have already marred the Peshawar BRT project. Despite the government’s constant assurances that the project will not be delayed, the authorities are not announcing the final date of BRT’s operations.

The said projects show the state’s incompetence to complete mega projects, especially within big cities. Before the concerned authorities inaugurate the project, it will be better to consider the words of ADP Principal Urban Development Specialist (Transport) for Central and West Asia David Margonsztern can guide the state in this regard who emphasise on the “need for a more sustainable, reliable, safe and gender and environment-friendly transportation system” in Karachi. 

Therefore, the authorities need to study the faults in designs and the reasons that cause delays in the completion of the said projects on time. If lessons of Orange Train and Peshawar BRT are ignored, the likelihood of Karachi BRT becoming another sham infrastructure project will increase manifolds.