France to provide Rs 12.3 billion soft loan for Red Line in Karachi

Islamabad: The French government is providing a soft loan of Rs 12.3 billion (65 million euros) for the bus rapid transit (BRT) Red Line project in Karachi.

To facilitate the credit, Ambassador of France in Pakistan Marc Barety and country director of the French Agency for Development (AFD) signed the credit financing agreement with Secretary for Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed in Islamabad to co-finance with the Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Green Climate Fund.

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The Red Line is proposed to connect with the Green Line, currently under construction, at the Numaish station for a seamless and connected operation. The Red Line services will then continue on the shared common corridor from the Numaish station till Merewether Tower.

The project includes the construction of 26.6km BRT corridor in Karachi encompassing both the Red Line corridor (24.2km) and the common corridor segment (2.4km) as well as feeder and direct services routes to the nearby communities.

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In addition, the project includes a support component for the transition of the existing bus sector with the integration of informal operators into the new system, which is a prerequisite for their proper and full commissioning.

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