KARACHI   -  The Sindh government announced that a ship from China carrying 20 buses for Orange Line bus rapid transit service (BRTS) would arrive here on May 11.

It also set May 30 as the deadline to complete all the remaining jobs of the Orange Line project lifting hopes of Karachiites to get benefit of the four-kilometre-long service after more than five years of its ground-breaking in 2016.

The announcement came from Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, who also holds the portfolio of transport. He visited the site of the project and was briefed by officials about the pace of work to complete the long-awaited project.

The minister directed the Sindh transport department to complete all the remaining tasks by May 30 and make the route ready for the service in the first week of June.

“The Sindh Mass Transit Authority has been directed to set up a camp office at the depot of Orange Line and to complete the remaining tasks by May 30, positively,” he told reporters. “I have decided to visit the site thrice a week and review the progress till the project is completed.” He said the Rs4.29 billion Sindh government-funded Orange Line was named after Abdul Sattar Edhi. It starts from Orangi Town and connects with Green Line at Nazimabad Board Office. “Some 20 buses of Orange Line project are arriving at Karachi Port on May 11,” he announced.

Later, the information minister visited the Karachi Press Club (KPC), met with the members of the governing body and office-bearers. In his brief talk at the club, he promised that the Sindh government would provide residential plots to remaining 700 members of the KPC on subsidised rates.

The Orange Line BRT, he said, had been named after philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi. He added that the length of the Orange Line BRT was four kilometres, and it ran from TMA Ground in Orangi Town all the way to the Board Office, where it connected with the Green Line BRT.

The project’s cost has been estimated at Rs4.290 billion. NESPAK is the consultant for the project. The project’s original cost in 2016, when its construction started, was Rs1.14 billion. The project’s 98 per cent work has been completed. “The Sindh government has completed this project through its own resources,” Memon said, adding that all the funding had been provided by the provincial government.

The federal government-mandated Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited is procuring buses for the project for which payment has been done by the provincial government. The minister announced that 20 buses for the BRT would reach the city on May 11.

For one week, he said, there would be testing of the buses on the Orange Line’s segregated track. Responding to a question, he said former prime minister Iman Khan was in a state of despair these days. He added that there were mega corruption scandals against Khan and he was trying to divert attention from those scandals by creating chaos in the country.

Memon said that the arrogance of Khan had caused irreparable damage to the country. The former premier, he said, should apologise to the nation for his mistakes and prepare himself for the upcoming elections.

He criticised the former PM for asking his party supporters in his political processions to make their disgruntled members of National Assembly a symbol of disgrace.