France to give Rs12.3bn loan for Karachi Red Line project

Karachi is perhaps the only metropolitan city with such a huge population in the world that is going without any mass transport system. The people of the city are surrounded by a number of severe issues, but due to political unrest in the province, nothing seems to be resolved at present. Under the strict orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Circular train though, has started, yet it is still incomplete on many grounds.  

Now the French government has agreed to provide a soft loan of Rs.12.3 billion for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line Project in Karachi. The Ambassador of France in Pakistan Marc Barty and the French Agency for Development (AFD)’ country director signed a credit financing agreement with the Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, Noor Ahmed in Islamabad.  

According to available details, Red Line Project will be designed to connect with the green line presently which is under construction at Numaish station for smooth operations. Then the service will continue on the shared common corridor from Numaish station to Merewether Tower.  

The project will include the construction of a 26.6 kilometer BRT corridor in the city encompassing both the red line corridor (24.2km) and common corridor segment (2.4km) along with feeder and direct services routes to the adjacent population.  

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It is a unique project in certain ways. Here the choice is made for the bio-methane hybrid bus technology, powered by a waste mechanization plant. This technology combined with the massive transport supply will further mitigate carbon Dioxide emissions from public transport. Karachi is among those few cities of the world which are badly polluted.  

On one side, there is huge emission of gasses from the factories, and on the other side, private substandard busses are causing the emission of Carbon Dioxide in huge quantity. The introduction of this technology will be a great blessing for the people of the city.  

While designing the project, it has been emphasized that the maximum number of people of Karachi may get the benefits of this system.   

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