According to government sources, a year ago the Karachi Ring Railway project was included in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC). Although the terms and timing of the project are still unclear, the project is hailed as the backbone of Karachi’s future transport system. Each train will accommodate 1,391 passengers and will run every six minutes. It should transport more than 600,000 people per day.
Noman Ahmed, however, disagrees with the idea, calling it “limited relief” for citizens. A contract worth 300 million Pakistani rupees (approximately $1.5 million) has been awarded to a foreign company for the rehabilitation of the circular railway, which he says can be done at much cost. weaker. The government, he said, should formulate an overall strategy for the city instead of various projects.
Social activist Anwar said that better transport systems exist in countries where the government provides women-only transport, among other measures, and a subsidized transport service for women is expected to be launched in Karachi. Mobile apps to alert police to harassment and additional police patrols should be used, especially in the evening and at night, he added.
Mumtaz Mughal of the Aurat Foundation pointed out that a mobile application has been tested in Punjab province and has not been “very successful”.
“The general economic situation of women in Pakistan is very bad. They don’t know how to defend their rights. They don’t even know what laws are in place to help them. An overwhelming majority of 94.8% of women and girls are unaware of Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC),” she said.
Singing vulgar songs, whistling, and written and verbal misconduct are all crimes related to sexual harassment and can be prosecuted under Section 509 of the CPC. The penalty for such crimes is three to five years in prison and a fine of up to PKR 500,000 (USD 2,500).
Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Managing Director of LEAD, an NGO, said: “If women are fully involved in the economic process, the country’s GDP could increase by 26%. We cannot achieve our Sustainable Development Goals if we do not fully integrate women into the mainstream of work, autonomy and the economy. At least 11 of the SDGs could be achieved by providing better transport for women, he added.