KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director to share with him in 10 days a work plan for construction of an underground and a mezzanine floor for Bus Rapid Transit station at Numaish so that a decision can be taken on inauguration of work on the project.
He made the request at a meeting with the ADB country director Xiaohong Yang. Mian Shaukat Shafi, the head of ADB’s Urban Unit, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohial Rajput, Education Secretary Iqbal Durani, Transport Secretary Saeed Awan, and Works Secretary Aijaz Memon were also present.
Other projects that came under discussion were Supporting Public Private Partnership Investments in Sindh Province; the Proposed Sindh Education Sector Investment Programme; and ongoing and future energy and transport sector projects.
Regarding the BRT terminal at Numaish, the ADB country director suggested that an underground and a mezzanine floor should be constructed at Numaish with provisions for a retail area. When the Chief Minister expressed his concern that revisions in design would extend the time needed to complete the project, Xiaohong Yang suggested that ADB engineers and experts could help the government with design and monitoring tasks. On this, Murad Ali Shah requested her to share a detailed report containing estimated cost and completion period with him in 10 days.
The Chief Minister thanked the ADB for providing technical and financial support for implementation of the BRT corridor and for strengthening public-sector institutions and organisations in the province.
On Friday, the chief minister also approved establishment of Karachi Bus Rapid Transit Company responsible for operation and maintenance of different lines.
The BRT project’s preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) would build on feasibility studies for priority BRT corridors undertaken by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Green and Red Lines, and the provincial government for the Yellow Line. Advance preparation activities undertaken under an ADP Cluster would also be utilised. The ADB has approved a $9.7 million Project Design Advance (PDA) loan for BRT project.
Red Line: The ADB is also working on a 21.5 km long Red Line BRT that will start from Model Colony and will stop at the Jinnah International Airport, on University Road, at NIPA. Numaish will be the last stop in the Red Line route. The estimated cost of the project is $200 million.
Education Sector: The ADB and School Education Department have identified three areas, including increasing access at secondary education level, improving teachers’ quality and capacity, and introducing examination reforms.
Increasing Access at Secondary Level: This will involve support for strengthening government’s school education programmes such as Education Management Organisations (EMOs) programmes and programmes operated by Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) and improving public school infrastructure, including class rooms, laboratories and missing facilities such as drinking water, toilets and boundary walls.
Teacher Quality: The Teacher Quality, Teacher Management and Accountability for Improved Secondary Education Outcomes (TQTMAISEO) involves support for programmes aimed at improving pre-and in-service teacher training, recruitment and placement; as well as measures to strengthen teacher performance assessment and accountability for education outcomes.
Examination Reforms: This will involve support for improving the structure and design of secondary education examination system. The Chief Minister directed School Education Secretary Iqbal Durani to submit a concept paper with the ADB so that the project could be approved in a timely manner.
Other projects that came under discussion included Enhancing Public Private Partnership. The P&D chairman briefed the chief minister and said the project envisaged strengthening capacity of government agencies for effective management of projects. It is a $184.13 million project in which ADB loan will be 54 percent, DFID grant would be 11 percent, while the provincial government’s share will be 35 percent. The chief minister approved release of Rs5 million to start the project.
Published in Daily Times, February 10th 2018.