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Chinese firm offers 2,000 electric buses for Karachi under $600m project

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KARACHI: A Chinese company has offered an over $600 million transport project involving over 2,000 electric buses to solve the issues being faced by the metropolis commuters.

The offer was made by a six-member Chinese delegation led by Thomas Wang to City Mayor Wasim Akhtar during a meeting at his office on Sunday.

Thomas Wang, who represents Chinese company Eco-Bus, has reportedly said that the company would also gift two such buses that would reach the city within two months.

The buses are being sent here so that these could be tried and evaluated on the roads here and local staffers — drivers, mechanics and other related people — could be trained, he added.

Briefing the media persons after the meeting, the mayor said that situation / condition of the public transport in the city was pathetic and if this project, which would be evaluated and examined, was materialised, it could solve the transport issues of Karachiites to a great extent.

He said that two buses, which had been gifted by the Chinese company, would arrive in the city in a next few weeks so that these could be examined in the local conditions.

He said neither these eco-friendly buses would cause the air pollution, nor would create noise pollution.

The imported fossil fuel would also not be used so precious foreign exchange could also be saved, he added.

He said that under the project over 500 stations would be established at different locations in the city where these buses could be charged. Once charged these buses could travel approximately 280 kilometres.

He said that the Chinese company had offered various proposals: they could bring in the investment and operate the buses themselves, they could work in a joint venture — with the government or the local transport — or could just sell the buses.

He said that all these proposals would be examined to see which one was more beneficial for the general public.

The mayor said that all the mega cities around the globe had urban mass transit systems, but leave alone the mass transit system, here in the metropolis unfortunately did not exists a fully functional public transport system, owing to which people suffered and were forced to travel in buses and minibuses that were in dilapidated condition.

He said that the Chinese company was in contact with the government.

He said that he had assured the delegation that the civic agency would extend all assistance so that this vital eco-friendly project, which could solve the transport issues of, and provide relief to, the people, could be implemented, hopefully soon.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2017

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