Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the Muslim Town flyover on Ferozepur Road on Sunday and announced a bonus of Rs2 million for the labourers who took part in construction work.
The flyover was opened to traffic on April 22, but the inauguration ceremony was postponed in view of the Bhoja Air crash in Islamabad.
Though two deadlines for the flyover’s completion – March 23 and April 18 – were missed, the chief minister said that the Rs2 billion project had been finished in a “record” 175 days. The Punjab government, he said, had created “a culture of completing large scale projects in record time and in a transparent manner”.
He said that some 427,000 vehicles a day would use the flyover. He regretted the inconvenience caused by the construction work, but added that the “temporary inconvenience has now become a permanent convenience”.
Sharif said that the project was a high quality construction of the same level as the Kalma Chowk flyover. He said that a petrol station owned by a relative of his had been demolished in order to build the Kalma Chowk flyover.
He said that development projects could turn Pakistan’s current dark days into a bright future. He said that if elected to lead the federal government in the next general elections, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would resolve the energy crisis within three years.
The chief minister said that setting up a comfortable, affordable and efficient public transport system for the poor and the middle class was “the mission of my life”. He said the government was building an international standard Bus Rapid Transport System.
He said that the poor sat at bus stops for hours and watched the rich go past in their cars and dreamt of similarly convenient travel facilities. After the BRTS was completed, he said, the rich would watch the poor travel in comfortable air conditioned buses.
He said that work on “this important public welfare project” was continuing around the clock and tenders would soon be offered for the next phase of the BRTS. He said a 4-km elevated bus track would be built from Qurtaba Chowk to the Civil Secretariat as part of the project. He said that building the BRTS was a tenth of the cost of building an underground metro system and would be finished this year.
The chief minister thanked the traffic police for their work in diverting traffic during the construction of the flyover. He also praised Inspector General of Punjab Police Habeebur Rehman as an honest officer who would bridge the gap between the police and the public. Earlier, Communication and Works Secretary Azam Suleman gave a talk about various features of the Muslim Town flyover project. Ministers, assembly members, and senior officers of the National Logistics Cell, the National Engineering Services of Pakistan and the city government also attended the inauguration.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.