Transport of Karachi

Karachi is the economic and financial hub of Pakistan generating approximately 53. 38% of the total national revenues. Approximately 75% of the population falls in category of poor or low income groups while the rest constitute middle or high income groups. Urban transportation system of Karachi has no mass transit system and people rely mainly on bus services. The people on average take 13. 5 million mechanized trips per day, of which 52% is made by public transport. Urban Bus Scheme and Karachi Circular Railway are major project deemed to relieve the congestions on the roads of the city.

Only Urban Bus Scheme, however, has yet shown considerable activity on part of public transport planning and implementation. This system lacks inter-modal integration and sustainability due to which this system has failed to cater to the growing commutation demands of masses. This research study aims to investigate the demand and supply gap of the sector in light of institutional capacity to develop and maintain. Also, this study attempts to compare public transportation system of Karachi with comparable metropolis like Mumbai, Delhi and Beijing.

In last, the study attempts to explore socio-economic reasons behind delay of Karachi Circular Railway. The study has adopted descriptive and thematic analysis approach to achieve the objectives. All the analysis, hereon, are done on secondary data gathered for the purpose. This study concludes that an integrated, multi-modal and sustainable public transportation system can only be achieved by giving a holistic approach to planning, execution and capacity building of the sector. 1. 1Population Overview During the last 50 years, Pakistan’s population has increased from 33 million to 152. 3 million in FY 2005, thus, making Pakistan the s1- LITERATURE REVIEWeventh most populous country in the world (Karachi Mega Cities Preparation Project, 2005).

According to the 1998 Census Report, Karachi had a population of 9. 2 million in 1998 compared with 5. 2 million in 1981, a growth rate of 4. 5% per annum. In 1998 the National population was 130. 5 million, and that of the Sindh province 30. 4 million. Growth rates since 1981 were 2. 61% and 2. 80% respectively, indicating rapid urbanization in Karachi, which was also much higher than the national average growth for urban areas of 3. 5% and also for that of Sindh at 3. 52%. On this basis population in 2015 for Karachi would reach 20. 7 million and 26. 4 million in 2020. (Karachi Mega Cities Preparation Project, page 4, 2005) Karachi, the capital of Sindh is the commercial hub and the gateway of Pakistan. It generates approximately 53. 38% of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR Report, 06-07). The city handles 95% of Pakistan’s foreign trade; contributes 30% to Pakistan’s manufacturing sector; and almost 90% of the head offices of the banks, financial institutions and multinational companies operate in Karachi.

The country’s largest stock exchange is Karachi-based, making it the financial and commercial center of the country. It also comprises about 40% of the total banking and insurance sector of the country. Karachi contributes 20% of GDP, adds 45% of the national value added, retains 40% of the total national employment in large scale manufacturing, holds 50% of bank deposits and contributes 25% of national revenues and 40% of provincial revenues. Karachi Mega Cities Preparation Project, page 3, 2005) The CDG (City District Government) of Karachi is divided into 18 zones or towns. These towns are governed by the town municipal administration.

Each town administration is responsible for infrastructure and spatial planning, development facilitation, and municipal services (water, sanitation, solid waste, repairing roads, parks, street lights, and traffic engineering) in a

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town, except those functions which are retained within the CDG. Intra-city transport now falls under the Local Government. Karachi Mass Transit Cell, City District Government, 2006). Apart from in-migrants from Pakistan’s provinces, a large number of migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries have settled in the city. With an average monthly household income of Rs. 15000, there is considerable variation in income distribution. Roughly 75 percent of the households fall in the category of poor and low income groups, and 25 percent constitute the middle and high income groups (Karachi Strategic Plan 2020, 2007).

It is no longer possible to overlook the urban decay in Pakistan. Streets are littered with waste, drains are overflowing with sewage, low-lying communities are inundated after rainfall, traffic congestion is ubiquitous, and the violent crime in urban centers is on the rise. The State either has divested from, or is no longer able to offer, reliable mass transit, good quality and affordable primary education, and healthcare. This has given the opportunity to the private sector to take up ome of these roles (Vision 2030, 2006) 1. 2Transportation – Facts And Figures The population of Karachi City District relies almost entirely on the road network for urban transportation. There is currently no mass transit system per se, although many commute using the network of bus routes.

There are nearly 13. 5 million mechanized trips made each day within the CDGK area, of which 52 percent are made by public and 48 percent by private transport. There are 1. million registered vehicles in Karachi (almost 50 percent of the national total) and private vehicles – mainly motorcycles and cars – now constitute 83 percent of total registered vehicles while buses and min-buses constitute only 1. 5 percent (Karachi Mega Cities Preparation Project, page 14, 2005). In 2002 the total registered vehicles and cars were growing at twice the growth rate of the population while the vehicle fleet is dominated by cars and motorcycles, which account for 92% of the vehicles as compared to 6% for para-transit vehicles and 2% for public transport vehicles.

The buses/minibuses are the most important mode of public transport in Karachi and better transport management strategies, service, accessibility, and affordability can help reduce the use of private vehicles (Urban Transport and Sustainable Transport Strategies, 2007). The intra-city road network has a radial pattern, consisting of a series of arterials, a few circumferential roads with inconsistent links and a disproportionately large number of local and collector roads.

In terms of connectivity, the network is deficient in secondary roads that provide feeder service to major thoroughfares. The weakness has basically arisen from the piece-meal development focused on residential schemes in the past (Karachi Strategic Plan 2020, 2007). The availability of public transport has not grown at the same rate as the population in Pakistani cities (Sohail et al. 2006). With growth rates for private vehicles at over 9 percent, there are now over 280 new vehicles added to the streets of Karachi each day (Karachi Mega Cities Preparation Project, page 14, 2005).

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