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Pakistan Clean Air Network (PCAN) Air Quality Management News June 1st to 30th

Started by Doha, July 16, 2013, 09:08:44 AM

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Compiled by: Saadullah Ayaz Coordinator (Clean Air Asia), IUCN Pakistan


1.      Metro Bus & Bullet Train

June 01st,- Sometime back, PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif was reported to have told Kamran Khan in Geo News programme ?Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath?, that launching theMetro Bus Project in Karachi is his party?s one of the top priorities, and I thought then that it was perhaps one of PML-N?s election-victory slogans, not to be taken too seriously. However, this PML-N?s wish has been repeated, which means that the party is quite serious about the project, so I feel I must air my views about it. Now first of all, Metro Bus service, which proved to be a blessing for Lahorites, would not necessarily succeed in Karachi. In the city, we had the Karachi Road Transport Corporation, road-train with added bogie running up to Saddar and then there were the large, Green buses, but they did not stay on Karachi roads for long and started gradually disappearing and in due course, vanished altogether from Karachi.

2.      CS presides meeting of Karachi Mass Transit Programme

June 02nd,Karachi (APP): Sindh Chief Secretary Muhammad Ijaz Chaudhry has asked the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) and Karachi Mass Transit Programme (KMTP) to prepare a joint-need based presentation on Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), so that due support of Federal and Provincial Governments might be attained for farther necessities. While presiding a review meeting in his office here on Wednesday, he maintained that ground realities must be kept in view in this connection. Earlier, in the KUTC presentation, the rail and road based Mass Transit Project, identified by JICA study, were highlighted by two rail-based and six bus-based routes. The rail- based routes included (i) New Sabzi Mandi to Tower via M.A. Jinnah Road, with 22.4 kms length, that is, 14.1 kms elevated and 8.3 kms underground.

3.      Metro Projects don?t fail. People do

June 02nd, the much hyped Metro Bus service of Lahore is facing its first trial by fire in the intense heat of the Lahore summer. There are reports of buses overheating and being taken out of service because the air conditioning system could not deal with the climactic conditions. Then there are complains of people who have to travel several kilometers just to get to the other side of the road. And even when they do get to the distant U turning, they find themselves in a traffic jam that sometimes takes awfully long to disentangle.

4.      Hybrid cars: good for nothing

June 02nd, Karachi: Hybrid cars will remain out of reach of the common man due to their high prices, thus proving good for nothing for a major segment of our population, which is in need of small cars, auto dealers said on Saturday. All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) Chairman H M Shahzad, while commenting on the soon-to-be-launched hybrid cars in Pakistan, said it is good news but hybrid cars will not prove good for the middle-class segment of the society. He said that hybrid technology cars are already available in Pakistan as 200 to 300 units have been imported into Pakistan last year but owing to their expensive price tags (Rs 1.7 million to Rs 2.2 million of 2007 to 2009 models, respectively) they are unpopular.

5.      Mass transit project for Karachi Qaim Okays circular railways plan

June 03rd, Karachi: The Chief Minis?ter Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, on Friday approved the revival of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project, which he instructed, would be started without any delay.  The approval of the much awaited project he gave in a high-level meeting at Chief Minister House.  The meeting was attended by the Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon, Advisor to Chief Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Muhammad Aijaz Chaudhry, Secretary Finance Suhail Ahmed Rajput, Principal Secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch, Project Director of Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) and other related officials. Addressing the meeting Chief Minister Sindh said that the Karachi Circular Railway was a project long awaited for and it must be now revived in a short span of time.

6.  Stakeholders told to speed up work on KCR revival

June 07th, Karachi: The Karachi Circular Railway revival project appears to have re-attracted the attention of the newly formed Sindh government, showed a directive of Chief Secretary Ijaz Chaudhry to the Karachi Urban Transport Company and the Karachi Circular Railway seeking a briefing of the project to the government. The chief secretary, presiding over a meeting on Thursday, asked the stakeholders to increase the pace of work for initiating implementation of the project. The officials informed the meeting that the KUTC was formed on equity ratio based shareholding of the ministry of Railway, government of Sindh and the Karachi Municipal Corporation while all social environmental and engineering studies as per guidelines of the JICA, World Bank and Asian Development Bank (including 39 preconditions) for negotiations of loan had been completed.
7.      Accept CM approves $2.6bn KCR revival project

June 07th, Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Friday gave a go-ahead to a plan to revive the Karachi Circular Railway, which would now be completed with an estimated cost of over $2.6 billion. The project, whose cost has escalated from $1.58bn to $2.6bn over the recent years, is expected to take three to four years to become operational. The chief minister gave the green light while presiding over a high-level meeting held here at the Chief Minister House. He said that the circular railway was a long-awaited project and now it ought to be implemented without any further delay. The available means of transportation were not sufficient to meet the requirement of Karachi, he added.

8.      Metro Bus projects for Karachi, Islamabad included in PSDP

June 07th, Islamabad: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government has included Metro Bus Service projects for Karachi and Islamabad in the next fiscal year?s proposed development programme. A total of Rs10 billion have been allocated for the first phase of the two projects which are aimed at fulfilling the party?s promises to the voters. The PML-N, during its campaign, promised to introduce a modern bus service on the pattern of the Lahore Metro Bus in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. According to official documents, the Planning Commission (PC), which is currently finalizing the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2013-14, has included the notional price of Rs30 billion each for Metro Bus Karachi and Metro Bus Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

9.      Ogra on safety in public transport: Provinces told to implement CNG rules

June 08th, Islamabad:: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) directed provincial governments on Friday to implement its directive of banning the filling of CNG cylinders fitted beneath the seats and in passenger compartments of public service vehicles and taking action against violators. In view of the importance of protecting human lives, ?it?s once again reiterated to implement in letter and spirit the same (ban/action) and take punitive action against defaulters as per provincial government rules and policy,? said a fresh Ogra directive to the provincial governments.

10.    Karachi`s circular railways gets Sindh CM`s nod

June 08th, Karachi Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Friday approved a US$2.6 billion project to revive the Karachi Circular Railways (KCR), which, if it ever seen the light of day, could provide massive relief for commuters in the metropolis. The chief minister gave his nod of approval to the project at a meeting, which was attended by Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Finance Advisor to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary Muhammad Ijaz Chaudhry, Secretary Finance Suhail Ahmed Rajput, Principal Secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch, Project. Director Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) and other government officials. It was stated that the system and infrastructure of the KCR would be completed in the next three of four years.

11.    Karachi?s circular railways gets Sindh CM?s nod

June 08th, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Friday approved a US$2.6 billion project to revive the Karachi Circular Railways (KCR), which, if it ever sees the light of day, could provide massive relief for commuters in the metropolis. The chief minister gave his nod of approval to the project at a meeting, which was attended by Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Finance Advisor to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary Muhammad Ijaz Chaudhry, Secretary Finance Suhail Ahmed Rajput, Principal Secretary to CM Naveed Kamran Baloch, Project Director Karachi Urban Transport Corporation (KUTC) and other government officials. It was stated that the system and infrastructure of the KCR would be completed in the next three of four years. ?It is the lower-income and labour class that suffers the most due to the lack of public transport.

12.    50pc cut in import duty on hybrid vehicles proposed

June 10th, Islamabad: There is a proposal to slash 50 percent duty on Hybrid motor vehicles in the financial year 2013-14.  By keeping in view the intense shortage of CNG and continuous increase in petrol prices in the country the federal government will slash import duty by 50 percent on the Hybrid motor vehicles. At present 1500cc and 1800cc vehicles are being imported which run on batteries and consume 50 percent less fuel. There is a proposal to cut import duty from 100 percent to 50 percent on 1800cc vehicles. There is likelihood of bringing down import duty from 75 percent to 37 percent on 1500cc Hybrid vehicles. Not only import duty will be slashed to half on these vehicles but half sales tax and withholding tax will also be charged. As a result there will be increase in the import of these vehicles.

13.    Metro Bus coming capital?s way!

June 14th, Islamabad - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that on the pattern of Lahore, Metro Bus Project will also be started in Rawalpindi. The chief minister said that Metro Bus Project route will be devised in such a manner as maximum people could benefit from this modern, comfortable and affordable facility and this route will be extended up to Islamabad. Shahbaz vowed that PML-N government will fulfill all promises made to the people at all cost. He said that effective and solid steps would be taken on war footings for resolution of public problems and providing maximum facilities to the masses.

14.    Pakistan, China join hands to cooperate in energy, mass transit

June 14th, Islamabad: Pakistan and China Friday signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fields of energy, mass transit, industrial cities and road sector projects. The MoU was signed between Ministry of Water and Power and China-based M/s Norinco International as a company?s delegation headed by its Vice President Wang Yitong, who is currently visiting Pakistan. Amid presence of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Wang Yitong of M/s Norinco and Anwar Ahmed Khan, Secretary Water and Power signed the MoU. According to the MoU, M/S Norinco and the government of Pakistan would pursue cooperation in the fields of mass transit, energy projects specifically solar in different provinces. The company would also help the host country for setting up industrial cities along Motorways, solar irrigation and road sector projects.

15.    Public transport records to be computerized

June 15th, Rawalpindi - The computerization of public transport and bus stops? records in Rawalpindi was ordered on Friday following the Punjab government?s decision. The directives were issued in a meeting presided over by Additional District Collector Revenue (ADCR) Chaudhary Muhammad Ali Randhawa. The purpose is to ease the checking of vehicles. According to revenue department officials, many transporters lack route permits, thus avoiding paying the tax. The computerization would help keep track of them, thus increasing the provincial government?s revenue.

16.    Auto industry lauds government decision on hybrid cars

June 17th, Islamabad: The business community have welcomed the government's decision to exempt the hybrid cars from taxes, saying it would lead to trim oil import bill besides promoting pollution-free environment in the country."Not only will the decision reduce Pakistan's oil import bill, but will also be a positive step towards improving the environment," remarked an senior official of the heading car manufacturing company while talking to APP here on Monday. He said that the import of hybrid cars would also help control omission of Carbon-monoxide gases which was posing a serious threat to the environments the world over and causing drought and flash floods.

17.    KCR project can?t get on track without a push from Jica

June 17th, Karachi: Despite the assurances of the federal and provincial governments, the revival of the Karachi Circular Railways seems far from reality unless the Japan International Cooperation Agency extends a loan of $2.41 billion for the project. Officials of the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation, which is the executing agency of the project, are of the view that the KCR?s revival would remain a dream unless the donor agency provides the required funds. According to some sources in the KUTC, several surveys have been conducted and almost all the Jica conditions have been met by the local authorities during the past nine years, but the project is yet to be materialise.

18.    Petrol, CNG pumps directed to follow rules

June 18th, Lahore: Lahore DCO Naseem Sadiq has said that the district administration will cooperate with petrol pumps and CNG associations for resolving their problems. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting with petrol pumps and CNG associations? office-bearers on Monday. The DCO stressed the office-bearers to follow rules and regulations and avoid provision of gas or petrol to banned vehicles. The delegation assured the DCO of following all the Punjab govt rules in this regard.

19.    Karachi Circular Railways to be revived

June 18th: The Sindh government with the assistance of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has announced to revive Karachi Circular Railways (KCR). The project of KCR revival will enter into implementation phase during FY 2013-14, chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said while unveiling the budget 2013-2014. He said that KCR will have a dual track of 41.12 km with 24 stations at an average distance of 1.5 km. The estimated cost of the project is $2.6 billion dollars. "The negotiations with JICA are almost finalised and we are at the stage of signing loan agreement," he added. Hs said that S-III is one of the major projects for Karachi having a cost of Rs 7.982 billion out of which federal government has to contribute Rs 3.991 billion. So far federal government has released Rs 789millionfor this project and government of Sindh has contributed Rs 800 million.

20.    E-ticketing

June 20th, E-ticketing: Lahore Transport Company is planning to integrate the E-ticketing system with Metro Bus. This was shared by the Secretary Transport Shaukat Ali at the LTC Board meeting here on Wednesday. He said that traditional transport culture will be transformed into modernised lines, the E-ticketing system will help private transport operators.