Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met officials and contractors working on the Metro Bus Service (MBS) on Monday to review the pace of construction and to try and resolve impediments, said a press release from the Directorate General of Public Relations.
Presiding over a four-hour meeting at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Sharif said that the major infrastructure work must be finished by November 20 so the bus service could begin as soon as possible. He said that special buses for the MBS would arrive in Pakistan by the end of the month.
The chief minister said that the MBS was a unique public welfare project in Pakistan and would be a gift to the people of Lahore. He said that 11 park and ride stations would be set up along the MBS route for commuters. He said that security must be provided at these parking stations. He said that the construction of a special depot for buses must also be expedited. He directed the Planning and Development Board chairman to do a case study of the project from launch to finish.
The chief minister said that the government was well aware of the problems caused by the construction work all over the city. He said he was suffering with the people and was grateful to them for their cooperation. He directed traffic police to better plan the flow of traffic on alternative routes.
He instructed officials to make sure that the routes of major Muharram processions are cleared and beautified with lights for Yaum-i-Ashoor; the route to Data Darbar must also be cleared in time for the urs of Hazrat Ali Hajveri, he said.
Lahore Development Authority Director General Ahad Cheema briefed Sharif on the construction work.
Talking to contractors, the chief minister said that they must accelerate the pace of their work, while at the same time ensuring the use of high quality construction material.
He took notice of the slow work on some sections of the MBS and said that more labour and machinery should be deployed there. He appreciated the work of the contractor building the rotary turn on the MBS route at MAO College.
The director general of the Parks and Horticulture Authority briefed the chief minister on landscaping plans for the MBS route. Sharif suggested that the PHA outsource some of the work. He instructed the director general to also plan to beautify bus stations and sought a briefing in this regard in seven days.
Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan, MPAs Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Dr Saeed Elahi and Hafiz Muhammad Nauman, the MBS project director, the information secretary, the Lahore commissioner and the district coordination officer also attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2012.