KCR and the Istanbul model
I HAVE read with interest Mr Hussain’s letter about “KCR and Montreal Model” (Jan 3). I too have visited Montreal several times during official assignments at the ICAO.
No doubt Montreal has an efficient metro system, but it is mostly underground because of Canada’s extremely cold weather and its unlimited electric supply, thanks to the Niagara Falls.
Neither our weather nor our poor power supply makes the model suitable for Karachi. People will die of suffocation in an underground station because of the irregular power supply which shows no sign of any improvement.
Last month I had an opportunity to visit Istanbul. What a lovely place, proudly guarding its Islamic heritage. Commuters by hundreds are transported efficiently in no time by buses running on a section of the road exclusively meant for them. While car drivers can get stuck in a traffic jam, these busses have no obstruction and go speedily.
In fact, many times faster than cars. They also have a credit-card system. You charge it by paying the amount you desire, swipe it at the entrance of the station and go to your destination. No hassle of cash payment.
I earnestly request that the right people at the helm of affairs go and study Istanbul’s surface-transport system. I am sure they will come back impressed. It is doable if we have the will and care for the lesser mortals perched perilously on top of rickety mini-busses.
S. M. ANWAR