KARACHI: Delay in the installation of required infrastructure is likely to put the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit-One (OLBRT-1) project on back burner, revealed officials of Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA). According to SMTA officials, there has been a delay in the construction of required infrastructure for OLBRT. They claimed that there has been a delay in the construction of an elevated portion as well as the up gradation of a kilometre long stretch of road. SMTA officials said that the plan also required the installation of lifts but no arrangements had been made to install the lifts. SMTA officials said that the contractor for the project, M A Engineering had been issued a show cause notice by SMTA for the completion of the remaining work by October 30, 2018. They said that two additional months had also been advised for face lifting of the project including the purchase of 42 buses. The officials said that day to day inspection of the ongoing work would be undertaken by consultancy organisation National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK). They said that in case of the contractor’s failure to complete the job on time, the contract would be cancelled and fines would be levied on the contractor. The officials said that suggestions from NESPAK would be taken into account and an alternative plan would be implemented for completion of the project. “Funds of Rs 600 million (mn) have already been released to the contractor. There is a low probability that the project cost would escalate,” said SMTA officials. When questioned about the delay, the contractor attributed the incompletion of the project to slow pace of work by Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) which were working on underground utilities. The contractor also said that the delay was caused because K-Electric (KE) took a year for the completion of its underground power facility at the designated sites. The interim minister for Transport and Mass Transit, Col (retd) Dost Muhammad Chandio also expressed his annoyance at the slow pace of construction work in OLBRT-I. Chandio said that the delay had caused anxiety among the citizens. The Orange Line project was initiated in June 10, 2016 by the then Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah with a project cost of Rs 1.85 billion. The project was expected to be completed by April 2017. The 1.25 km long portion from Metro Cinema to DMC west office Orangi 5 is still incomplete while 60 percent of work from Banaras Bridge to Secondary Board of Education North Nazimabad has been completed. Two lifts and three bus stations are yet to be constructed. According to SMTA officials, this project would be connected with Green Bus project after completion. The officials also said that preparations were underway to launch more BRT services in name of Red, Yellow and Blue lines in city, which would be integrated with Green Line BRT. Published in Daily Times, August 16th 2018.