The city district government has proposed a plan asking intercity bus operators to shift their terminals to new locations in 18 months, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Bus companies, it seems, will require a lot of convincing before they agree to do so.
The government had hoped to organise an auction for licences for new terminals last Thursday but it had to be rescheduled.
Regional Transport Authority Secretary Mian Mohsin Rashid said he did not know why the auction had been postponed.
However, he is hopeful that early resistance will give way ultimately to an agreement. Rashid said that the RTA proposal allows the companies to establish their terminals in areas of their preference.
The city government has already asked operators using one of the city’s main bus stands at Lorry Adda to move to Thokar Niaz Beg. A 109-kanal terminal has been completed at Thokar Niaz Beg but the transporters have refused to relocate.
City government officials, privy to developments, told The Express Tribune that the government had offered Daewoo the terminal at Thokar Niaz Beg to use till the company constructs a new terminal.
District Coordinating Officer Noorul Amin Mengal confirmed that Daewoo had been offered the Thokar terminal. Daewoo’s general manager said the company was considering the government offer but hadn’t made a decision yet.
Under the new plan, the government has proposed 88 bus terminals in the city. These terminals would be located in three zones along 12 interchanges on the Lahore Ring Road.
The Green Zone will include areas in the heart of the city – except for The Mall and the Walled City, the Blue Zone is situated on the inner side of the Ring Road interchanges and extend two kilometres towards city centre and the Yellow Zone, which is on the outer side of the Ring Road till the revenue limits of the city.
Only four bus terminals, of at least 50 kanals each, will be allowed to be established in the Green Zone. In the Blue Zone, two bus terminals of at least 10 kanals each will be allowed at each interchange. Five terminals, of six kanals each, would be allowed alongside every Ring Road interchange in the Yellow Zone.
The interested companies will submit applications, expressing their interest in setting up terminals.
The government will then hold an auction for the licences. Once a company wins a licence, it would be given 10 months to locate and purchase or lease the land where it wishes to construct the new terminal.
After building plans and NOCs are obtained, the companies will be given adequate time, which varies depending on the zone, to complete construction and shift operations.
Companies setting up new terminals in the Green Zone would be given 10 months, companies that wish to set up a terminal in the Blue Zone eight months and those in the Yellow Zone six months.
Rashid said that around 20 companies, including Daewoo, had expressed interest in the auction, the date for which is yet to be decided.
Daewoo General Manager (Administration) Khurram Mirza said that the company was willing to give the new proposal a shot “despite the difficulties it will pose to the company’s operations”.
He confirmed that the company would be taking part in the auction and that it has applied for a licence each in the Blue Zone and the Green Zone.
Aslam Khan Niazi, the All Pakistan Transport Owner Federation chairman, opposed the policy. He said companies like Abdullah Travellers, Naizi and Skyways owned land on which they have their terminals and did not want to participate in a licence auction.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2012.
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