Islamabad: The French government has announced its decision to provide a soft loan of PKR 12.3 billion for the development of the Red Line bus rapid transit (BRT) project in Karachi, a news source reported on March 18.
To this effect, French Ambassador Marc Barety and the country director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) came to terms with Economic Affairs Division Secretary Noor Ahmed for a credit finance agreement to co-finance the project, alongside the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Asian Development Bank (ABD) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The said project, situated at the Numaish station, will connect to the Green Line and will further include the construction of a 26.6km BRT corridor in Karachi, including both the Red Line corridor and the common corridor. The Red Line services will continue on through the shared common corridor from the station till the Merewether Tower.
The soft loan demonstrates the effort made by the development agencies in order to better the livelihoods and the standard of living. The aforementioned project will be one of the very first joint ventures between AIIB and GCF on urban development, as reported by a French Embassy press release. Besides the infrastructure and construction, the project is said to be much more friendly in relation to the environment, as the bio-methane hybrid bus technology will greatly reduce CO2 emissions.
Other salient features of the ambitious project include a better integration system for the pre-existing bus section into the new system for a seamless transition. In addition, the infrastructure will include mixed traffic lanes, bicycle lanes, proper parking, sidewalks, and a proper draining system to facilitate the climate-proofing of the infrastructure as well as the new corridor.