The Embassy of Japan and the United Nations Office for Project Services’ (UNOP) in Pakistan signed an agreement for a pilot project today. This project is aimed at the development of a Mass Transit transport service for females only in selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The project is going to be implemented by UNOPS Pakistan Office in partnership with the K-P Transport Department and UN Women. The Japanese Government is going to be the one funding this project.
It is said that they will be contributing 191 million JPY ($1.79 million) for the duration of the project.
Many high officials attended this ceremony from the Economic Affairs Division, Planning Commission of Pakistan and Department of Transport K-P along with UN Resident Coordinator and heads of other UN agencies and representatives of foreign missions and donor agencies.
A Good Initiative to Combat Harassment of Women in Public Places
The UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne said that the incidents of women being harassed is growing day by day, even as they seek public transport day to day. The constant harassment from eve teasers and strangers brings down their productivity and confidence.
In order to solve this social menace, it is high time that the “Women Bus Service” was introduced.
“This is an initiative taken to make women feel safe, secured and comfortable when travelling. These busses aim to protect women during travel and reduce the risk of being a potential victim.
The project will pilot 14 buses in 3 districts of K-P; namely Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad.”
The UNOPS Pakistan Director and Representative Muhammad Haider Reza added more to it by mentioning that the amount of working women and female students facing sexual harassment from male drivers and conductors is quite alarming and needs to be dealt with.
He further added that UNOPS considers it an honor to support and work in close partnership on this innovative project for the benefit of women.
About the Woman Mass Transit Project
While the women specific transport sector project was signed, the PTI led government announced their plan to finalize the metro project for Peshawar which is called Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project which was expected to be completed by 2018.
Provincial Secretary Transport and Mass Transit Department KPK Zubair Asghar Qureshi said “We are developing mass transit transport system for KPK and the feasibility study for the first BRT for Peshawar will be completed within next six months while this project will become operational by 2018”