The Argentine ambassador has approached the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and expressed his country’s willingness to help contribute to the much-hyped Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Islamabad.
On Monday, Argentine Ambassador Rodolfo Martin Saravia visited CDA headquarters and held a meeting with the civic agency’s chairman.
During the meeting, he floated the idea of running compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in the capital with technical assistance from Argentina.
“The ambassador has been asked to give a detailed presentation of his proposed idea,” said a senior CDA official requesting anonymity.
While Saravia’s presentation will be considered, it appears as though the civic agency will continue with the existing BRT project plans it has already been working on.
“In the past, the idea of running CNG buses was dropped by the CDA due to the nationwide shortage of CNG,” said the official.
He said the CDA had also planned to establish its own gas station at the time, an idea that was shelved because of the federally-mandated three-days-a-week suspension of CNG supply in the twin cities.
The official said the civic agency had made significant progress towards running multi-fuel buses under the BRT project.
The project’s pre-feasibility study has already been completed with the help of the Asian Development Bank, while a detailed feasibility study will commence within two weeks, he added.
“It is possible that a Turkish firm may execute the BRT project for Rawalpindi and Islamabad,” said the official.
When contacted, CDA Spokesperson Naeem Rauf said he was unaware of the issues discussed in the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.