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Karachi to Get 180 Solar-Powered Electric Buses

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The Sindh government has unveiled a plan to introduce 180 solar-powered electric buses along Karachi’s Bus Rapid Transit Service feeder routes. This move, discussed in a meeting between Sindh’s Caretaker Chief Minister, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar, and a delegation from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) led by F. Cleo Kawawaki, aims to offer cleaner and more efficient transit options within the city.

Scheduled to commence operations by December 2023, this initiative forms part of the government’s broader strategy to tackle climate change and promote carbon credit initiatives. Shakil Mangejo, Chairman of the Planning and Development Board Sindh, informed the ADB delegation that the Green and Orange Lines of Karachi’s BRTS serve approximately 50,000 passengers daily.

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The integration of electric buses is poised to improve the city’s public transport network, enhancing sustainability and connectivity.

The plan involves deploying 170 to 180 electric buses along the existing BRT routes of the Green and Orange Line, as outlined by the transport secretary. The ADB, represented by Kawawaki, has pledged support for the project and vowed collaboration with the provincial government.

Additionally, discussions during the meeting addressed the West Karachi Recycled Water Project. The Chief Minister emphasized Karachi’s severe water shortage, with a demand of 1,100mgd against a supply of only 550mgd for its over 20 million residents. The project, estimated at around $180 million, entails constructing a treatment plant near the Sindh Industrial Trade Estate (SITE).

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Asad Zaim, MD of the Public Private Partnership Unit, highlighted the completion of the prequalification process for the project, with four bidders now in the RFP stage. The ADB is actively involved as a transaction adviser, aiding in project documentation alongside the provincial government.

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