The World Bank has assessed the overall implementation progress of the "Karachi Mobility Project," valued at $382 million, as moderately unsatisfactory. Despite the project's effective date being November 26, 2019, only $18.88 million, equivalent to 4.9% of the total amount, has been disbursed to date.

The bank's official documents reveal that the implementation pace accelerated following the hiring of the project management core team. Additional staff recruitment to support the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) and public-private partnership (PPP) transaction services is planned, with a focus on encouraging female applicants.

The Utility Coordination Committee has been appointed to facilitate implementation under Component 1, supporting the development of the Yellow Corridor. This committee has initiated consultations on the technical aspects of relocating utilities in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, involving various stakeholders.

The project aims to improve mobility, accessibility, and safety along selected corridors in Karachi and comprises three main components:

  1. Urban Road Infrastructure – Yellow Corridor:

    • Rehabilitating or reconstructing road infrastructure, including utilities and non-motorized transport facilities along the yellow corridor.
    • Implementing environmental and social recommendations and mitigation measures.
    • Carrying out detailed designs, construction supervision activities, and third-party monitoring.
  2. Development and Operationalization of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System – Yellow Corridor:

    • Constructing and equipping BRT facilities along the yellow corridor.
    • Providing working capital subsidy for the BRT operation concession.
    • Implementing social management and impact mitigation measures, including labor redeployment for affected bus operators.
    • Designing a transit-oriented development strategy for the Yellow Corridor.
    • Providing PPP transaction advisory services for BRT operation concession.
  3. Capacity Building and Technical Assistance:

    • Supporting project management and providing technical assistance for the implementation of social measures.
    • Offering technical assistance in traffic management and road safety.
    • Assisting regional transport authorities in automating the management and monitoring of bus route permits.
    • Conducting capacity-building activities to strengthen SMTA and improve the management of the urban transport sector in Karachi.

The assessment underscores the challenges and areas requiring improvement in the project's execution, emphasizing the need for effective measures to enhance implementation outcomes.

Written By Web Desk

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