Monday, March 16, 2009

City urgently needs 10,000 buses: KTI chief Syed Irshad Bukhari

At least 10,000 new buses are required in the city on an urgent basis to resolve problems faced by commuters, especially women, who are the worst sufferers in daily commuting, said Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) President Syed Irshad Bukhari.

He said that the federal government should facilitate the transporters in buying these buses by providing them subsidy, adding that the problems of city commuters would stay till the new buses are brought in.

According to Bukhari, Mass Transit Cell Director Zahir-ul-Islam has suggested that transporters would bear 20 per cent cost of new buses, while the government would finance remaining 80 per cent.

He said that they had proposed that this ratio should be turned into 10:90, under which transporters should pay 10 per cent. “I have also given assurance and guarantee for returning all loan to the government, if our proposal is accepted,” he said.

Bukhari said that large buses were also not given new permits in the city, which was also a part of the problem. Although thousands of minibuses were plying on illegal routes all around the city, the government was not giving new route permits to large buses, he said. The route permits should be allowed to both small and large size buses in the city to facilitate the citizens, he added.

He said that the KTI also wanted to resolve traffic problems in the city, and were ready to cooperate with new Traffic DIG Khurram Gulzar in launching a drive against male commuters travelling in female compartments.

Bukhari said in the past transport associations had also cooperated with late Traffic DIG Yamin Khan in such drives against violation of traffic rules.

Talking about the issues faced by female commuters in the city, he said women compartments should always be restricted for women commuters, and no male commuter should be allowed travelling in these compartments.

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