Karachi has launched a zero-emission green Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network with 200 buses fuelled by bio-methane. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Karachi: The Sindh government has said that an assembly line should expeditiously be built by prospective foreign investors for local manufacturing of buses to fulfil the public transportation needs of large cities like Karachi.

In this regard, the Sindh Information and Transport Minister, Sharjeel Memon, along with relevant officials met the representatives of leading bus manufacturer from China and their local partners in Pakistan. The Country Manager of the Chinese bus producer, Paul Zhang, attended the meeting.

Memon asked the prospective private investor from China to finalise its plan in the next three weeks to establish an assembly line for producing public transport buses.

The meeting was told that the proposed manufacturing unit would be established on 15 to 18 acres of land where 500 buses would be manufactured annually. The plant could be built in 16 to 20 months.

The Transport Minister offered to the participants of the meeting that the Sindh government could become a partner in the proposed manufacturing facility either through the Sindh Bank or Sindh Mass Transit Authority.

He said the option was open for the Chinese bus producer to join hands with any prospective local business to jointly launch the manufacturing facility.

Memon said the Sindh government could go to any length and had the resolve to provide all the due facilities for setting up such a local manufacturing facility in the shortest possible time.

He assured the participants of the meeting that there was no delay on the part of the Sindh government as they wanted the project to take off at the earliest.

He said the Sindh government was ready to provide the guarantee that whichever political party formed the next government after the general elections next year would be under an obligation to fully support the project.

Memon said the Sindh government had been striving to launch a modern transportation system in every large city in the province. He said the availability of a local assembly line would ensure the provision of quality buses for passengers at the lowest rates.

He told the meeting that talks were also underway with the World Bank for bringing public buses for the citizens.

He said the Sindh government had been working on the plan to bring thousands of buses to Karachi.

He mentioned that Sindh Chief Minister had recently sanctioned the release of Rs 1.5 billion for the repair of roads, which were part of different routes of the newly launched People’s Bus Service in Karachi. The roads have been recently damaged due to heavy rains in the city.