MULTAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday lashed out at his political rivals for obstructing development. “Come to Multan if you want to see ‘Naya Pakistan’,” Sharif said while inaugurating a multibillion-rupee modern metro bus service in Multan.
The premier later took a ceremonial ride on one of the buses to formally launch the service, which will initially operate 35 buses. The 18-kilometre metro track begins at Bahauddin Zakariya University, connecting 21 stations of which 14 are located at flyovers. The project was completed at a cost of Rs28.88 billion.
In the first phase, 35 buses will operate on the route — providing transportation to an estimated 95,000 commuters daily. Metro bus services already operate in Lahore, and between Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Metro bus starts today in Multan
Earlier, addressing a large gathering after inaugurating the metro bus project, the prime minister said he believed in delivering real projects for the people and did not believe in selling half-baked ideas for petty political gains.
In an indirect reference to PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Sharif said the governments of other provinces promised to build a Naya Pakistan, but cities in their provinces had no “metro buses or an efficient transport system”.
“Where is Naya Pakistan? ... Those who claim that they are keen to build a new Pakistan should come to Multan to see in reality the new Pakistan,” Sharif told the audience that included former PTI president Javed Hashmi.
Amid shouts of ‘Mian Sahab, I love you’, Sharif said: “The face and structure of Multan is changing,” adding that “the gathering is not for any sit-in to disrupt any development project, block roads or level baseless allegations, but to unveil a development project for the masses.”
He said the city would soon be linked to the modern motorway network of the country that would help further boost the national economy.
Sharif said a new expressway would also link it to Faisalabad and onwards to Islamabad in almost half the time. He said another six-lane Multan-Sukkur link would connect the city to Karachi soon.
PM Nawaz inaugurates Metro bus project in Multan
Sharif said a network of roads was now connecting all remote areas of Balochistan and would make travel safe, easy and cheap. He said all provinces would be connected through new road links.
The prime minister congratulated Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his team for completing the project in the minimum possible time of 18 months and termed it a highly laudable step. He hoped the rest of the project would be completed at the earliest.
(APP WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2017.