Karachi -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to give Rs2 billion subsidy to transporters to include 600 more vehicles to meet the growing requirement for passenger buses.

He was presiding over a meeting on intra-city and intercity bus service here at the CM House on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, P&D Chairman M. Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch, Transport Taha Farooqui, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and others.  

Minister for Transport Syed Nasir Shah said that there was a shortage of 8000 buses in the city. “Therefore a new mechanism be adopted to include at least 600 buses in the present fleet of passenger buses to meet transport requirements of Karachiites to some extent,” he said, and added, “After that Bus Rabid Transport (BRT) would be launched.”

The chief minister said that his government would assist the transporters by providing them a subsidy for a period of five years. “The government gives a subsidy of Rs2 billion to be placed with Sindh Modaraba before the publication of the advertisement,” he said, and added that 70:30 debt equity ratio would be maintained.”

“The transporters equity would be 15 percent and 15 percent would be given by the Sindh government in the shape of interest free loan, repayable by the transporters within a year of the completion of the loan due to Sindh Modaraba Loan Ltd,” Murad explained.

The CM also said that his government would provide 30 percent credit risk guarantee for the outstanding principal loan amount, excluding the Sindh government equity.

The transport department also proposed to start an inter-city project.

Under the proposal, the Sindh government would bear the cost of insurance of the vehicles which would be insured through the Sindh Insurance Ltd and that would be around 5 percent of the value of the vehicle.

The chief minister said that only locally assembled vehicles would be financed.

It was also proposed that if the transporter managed to repay all installments on time, maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition and fulfill all obligations, the Sindh government would forgive its portion of the cost of 15 percent.

Giving a presentation on Blue Line, Minister for Transport Nasir Shah said that it would ply between Al-Asif Square- and Golimar. “It would be a 12-km long route, with 6.6 km of stretch elevated and would have nine stations; five elevated and three at grade. There would be a ridership of 3, 75000 daily,” he informed.

Secretary Transport Taha Farooqui said that the route would pass through Yousuf Plaza, Naseerabad, Ayesha Manzil, Karimabad, Liaquatabad, Daak Khana, Teen Hati and Guru Mandir.

The chief minister directed the transport department to go ahead and fulfill all requirements so that the project could be launched at the earliest.

“The Sindh government would assist the transporters financially and administratively,” Murad assured.