People’s priorities: Medicines, not metro buses, the pressing need, MPAs say

Foundation stone for the metro bus project in Rawalpindi is to be laid this month.

Abdul Manan February 14, 2014
Foundation stone for the metro bus project in Rawalpindi is to be laid this month. PHOTO: FILE


Opposition members from Rawalpindi opposed the metro bus projects in their city on Thursday. Instead, they asked for medicines and safe drinking water for citizens.

The Wednesday session had resumed at 11.17am with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair.

Malik Tanveer Aslam answered questions about the Housing and Urban Development Department and the Public Health Engineering Department.

Rising a point of order, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf member Arif Abbasi said the Rawalpindi metro bus project should be scrapped.

Foundation stone for the project is expected to be laid in the last week of February.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) did not represent the people of Rawalpindi as its candidates were defeated with a heavy margin.

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He said the government had already spent billions over the last 9 months in the city as it constructed three underpasses at a cost of Rs8 billion at Murree Road, Rs360 million at Committee Chowk and Rs3 billion at Mareer Chowk.

He said the government now planned to construct a metro bus system at a cost of Rs40 billion on Murree Road.

He said the people of Rawalpindi needed the Leh Expressway that would cost Rs12 billion and not the metro bus.

He said all the city’s major hospitals, schools and business centres were located on Murree Road and construction of the metro bus would disrupt the lives of nearly 0.2 million people.

He said people of Rawalpindi needed free medicines, safe drinking water and a proper sewerage system.

He said the government should focus on providing health facilities instead of focusing on transport services.

He said the situation in Rawalpindi in terms of clean water and free medicines was deplorable.

Leader of the Opposition Mehmoodur Rashid said the government should pay heed to the concerns of elected representatives of the city.

He also said the government had not taken traders into confidence when it decided to construct the Gaju Mata signal-free square.

He said traders had protested the decision but government had ignored them. He said development planning should mirror the needs of the people.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the people who had complained about the metro bus project while it was being constructed in Lahore had thanked the government after the service was launched.

The Punjab Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2013

The Punjab Shops and Establishments (amendment) Bill 2013, which makes it mandatory for employer to have a day care center at workplaces, was also passed on Thursday.

The Act was required to be adopted by the provincial assembly under the term of clause VI of Article 270-A of the Constitution.

Some other amendments like provisions for enhancement of fiscal penalties, change in head of receipts, registration fee and empowerment of labour courts established under the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010 as appellate authority, were been incorporated in the draft bill.

According to clause 10-A of the bill, a workplace where 25 or more women are employed must have a suitable day care room for children under the age of six.

The amendments moved by the Opposition were rejected by the treasury members.

The speaker adjourned the session till Friday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2014.


hbutt | 9 years ago | Reply

Someone tell this MP that Pervez Khattak is copying Shahbaz Sharif by initiating a Rapid Bus Service in Peshawar. Remember last year when PTI called Lahore's project a 'jangla bus' ? Truly they were making this claim along with excuses like budget expenditure only for political gains. Rather call it for the elections.

Arslan | 9 years ago | Reply

Why is this MPA of PTI making stupid claims which will improve the everyday life of a common people, who needs clean drinking water, good hospitals, good schools??

Everyone needs a Metro Bus 40 billion investment which shows.

Why is he not asking for something which can be a good advertisement for the Federal Govt.

Come on PTI don't you know how to win elections?

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