Published On: Wed, Sep 30th, 2015

‘Karachi has a Mass Transit, but does not have a System’


Staff Report

KARACHI

While energy use in transport is likely to double in coming years, it is imperative that emissions are drastically cut down and at the same time more efficient and comfortable means of transportation are made available to the common masses. This was the message conveyed by winners of the poster and debate competition during a closing ceremony organized by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and NED University, in Karachi, under the Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project (PAKSTRAN).
To address the transport and related problems in the country, PAKSTRAN is supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)implemented by Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan. IUCN is executing the Project’s awareness raising component of the Project.
The competitions were organized as part of an ongoing awareness-raising campaign.

“Introduction to the sustainability aspects in the transport sector of Pakistan is an integral componentto streamline development process in the country – and a step towards mitigating the impacts of climate change,” explained DrSaleemJanjua,National Project Manager of PAKSTRAN.“The ultimate goal of the project is to reduce emissions in the transport sector.”He added that while carbon emission and climate proofing studies were available, studies on transport-specific Environmental Quality Standards were lacking. He stressed the need for modernizing the trucking system in the country, and added that PAKSTRAN was working towards the BRT in Multan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan said that “emissions cost millions of rupees in terms of health therefore we need to move towards sustainable development.” We are an energy-deficient country and should considerthe well-organized approach being followed by PAKSTRAN which aims at reducing emission and conserving energy through federal and provincial governments, internationals organizations and academic institutions.

As part of the PAKSTRAN, IUCN has initiated awareness-raising campaigns aimed at promoting the understanding of sustainable transport concepts by targeting different groups of population in various cities of Pakistan. “As part of this year’s Awareness Raising Campaign on Sustainable Transport a series of events were organized at provincial level targeting educated youth in collaboration with NED University Karachi. The students conveyed the messages of transport sector issues and solutions through creative posters, video clips and participation in debate competition,” explained FauziaBilquis Malik, IUCN Component Manager of PAKSTRAN.

Dr. Muhammad Afzal Haque, Vice Chancellor, NED University, congratulated IUCN for holding such a successful awareness raising campaign, and said that the mass transit system had proven to be an effective measure to reduce traffic congestions and pollution in many countries. He underscored the need for collaborating with the academia to bring about synergies in such initiatives.

Usman Manzoorof UNDP speaking on the mass transit system highlighted UNDP’s essential role in the project and urgedeffective measures to reduce traffic congestions which he said were most common in urban areas. He said Karachi lacked an effective transport system.“Karachi has a mass transit, but does not have a system,” said one of the winning debaters.

Winning students were awarded cash prizes and certificates of appreciation during the closing ceremony.

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