Mass transit inevitable for Karachi: Governor Ibad

Karachi: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad khan has said that mass transit system has become a must for Karachi, as without its absence the public transport needs of this seventh largest city of the world could not be catered.

Talking to a delegation of 100th National Management Course of the National School of Public Policy Lahore at the Governor House here Monday, he said Karachi is the seventh largest city of the world and its population is higher than population of many small countries. He said, however, the condition of public transport sector is very poor here. He said a mass transit system has become inevitable for Karachi. He said signal-free corridors have already been developed as the first step of introducing the mass transit system. He said bus rapid system, mono-rail and circular the required mass transit it needs heavy funding and the provincial and federal governments are working in this regard. He said hopefully these systems would be announced soon.

Governor Ibad said 300 to 600 new small and big vehicles are being registered in Karachi every day and they are further increasing traffic load on the city streets. He said with widening of roads and construction of flyovers efforts are under way to lessen this traffic pressure.

He said the role of local governments in coping with disasters and natural calamities cannot be denied and all political parties recognize the value of local governments in this regard. He hoped that after the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan it could be said with certainty that by the end of this year Pakistan would have a working local government system. He said local government is the part of manifestoes of all political parties, but these political parties due to some reasons have failed to implement this part of their manifestos. He said with devolution of power to lower level not only the grassroots level problems are solved but it also strengthen democratic system.

To a question of lawlessness in Karachi, he said the peace of Karachi is the peace of whole Pakistan. He said if Karachi faces security problems that affect the whole country. He said the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi shows the seriousness of government to improve law and order. He said four heinous crimes – terrorism, kidnapping for ransom, target killing and extortion- are being given special focus. He said the statistics show that after the operation crime graph has fallen in Karachi. He said efforts are being taken to nab the criminals and introduction of witness protection law is the first step in this regard. He said due to weaknesses of prosecution many criminals are benefitted and the government has taken steps to strengthen prosecution of cases.

Dr Ibad said due to public rallies and gatherings the citizens of Karachi suffer a lot and for this the government has earmarked 19 different spots in the city where rallies and gatherings could be held after getting permission from the government. He said, however, due to lack of implementation still rallies are being held on busy roads affecting public and economic life. He said lawmaking is on the anvil to stop holding of rallies on main roads.

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