Metro service: Buses ready to roll this week

Published: June 2, 2015
Students, journalists and government officials took a test ride of the metro bus around the twin cities. PHOTO: ONLINE

Students, journalists and government officials took a test ride of the metro bus around the twin cities. PHOTO: ONLINE


Amid much fanfare, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday announced that the prime minister will inaugurate the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project “in the coming days”.

Nearly 150 senior journalists from across the country were invited by the federal information ministry to visit the site and were later briefed on the project followed by a lavish lunch at the Punjab House.

Later, addressing a news conference, Sharif said the project was delayed by six months due to the sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek in Islamabad.

“It’s a national project as people belonging to all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK are living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and they will benefit from it,” Sharif said, adding though the project was delayed beyond its original deadline, it was still completed in ‘record time’.

He said the project was completed within the approved cost and all service and other contracts were awarded following competitive bidding.

To a question that the bus’ route does not cover thickly populated areas of the twin cities, Sharif informed that the route was selected following feasibility study for a mass transit system for the twin cities conducted by Nespak. He said as per the study, nearly 130,000 people daily travel on that route.

He said those who were opposing the project live in ‘a fool’s paradise’ as the project would provide state-of-the-art and international standard transportation service to the public. The chief minister said despite opposition from various political parties, the PML-N government would continue to ‘serve masses as per the vision of Pakistan’s founders’.

He said to make the project a success, new routes would soon be introduced to support the metro bus.

To a question that buses stations made up of glass would be vulnerable to any protest gathering or mobs, the chief minister said the project itself would anguish the deep public anger as it would bring an end to travelling-related miseries of poor people.

The CM was asked if the project would benefit the government in the upcoming local bodies polls, he said it was not so as the people of Pakistan had already given PML-N the mandate to take decisions in their greater interest in the 2013 general elections.

Regarding reports that the PML-N government ignores chief ministers of other provinces while making important visits abroad, Sharif said during the last government of PPP, he was never included in foreign delegations but he never complained about it.

At the event, the media was informed that the federal government would bear Rs3 billion — the cost of the Peshawar Morr interchange of the project while the remaining cost would be shared on a 50:50 basis between the Punjab and federal governments.

Several politicians, government officials, local students and journalists travelled between the Pak-Secretariat and Saddar stations on the metro bus as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2015.


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Reader Comments (12)

  • sabi
    Jun 2, 2015 - 3:18AM

    This is roshan Pakistan we need.Great work pmln. Love to see our cities being developed on international standards.Recommend

  • sabi
    Jun 2, 2015 - 3:27AM

    For KPK lolly pops for Punjab real progress.
    You asked for it. Recommend

  • Haider
    Jun 2, 2015 - 8:58AM

    Making metro buses when people cant get necessities.This metro bus is made of 50 billion rupees…….Sir we will appreciate real progress when govt hospitals start giving same treatment as private hospitals and same goes with schools.People have to wait for hours to get treated.Plz go to govt hospitals and see.Real progress my foot.He has been CM for 7 yrsRecommend

  • Zahid
    Jun 2, 2015 - 9:26AM

    Metro Bus, Lyari Express Way 2nd Lane and Karachi Circular Railway service are long time pending projects in Pakistan’s largest cosmopolitan City Karachi. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should also focus on the development projects for Karachiites.Recommend

  • N.Sid
    Jun 2, 2015 - 9:53AM

    70 buses and a 50 billion rupees project. This shows the lopsided priorities of the government. At this cost, all the major cities in Pakistan could have been provided with public buses, that is 5000 buses at the cost of 1 crore per bus.
    This project has destroyed the green belts in two major arteries of Islamabad, will result in noise/air pollution with cutting of trees, trees are vital to cool down the temperature as well and they bring rains, hope people knew about it.
    Its more about priorities, providing clean drinking water to a vast segment of population is more important, so is the education in government run schools. But seems like S.Sharif is more interested in big mega construction project to get mega commission…when we will be able to get our priorities right. Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 2, 2015 - 10:24AM

    Russia was once a super power with all the high class infrastructure fancy buildings, carpeted roads etc. yet collapse like all was made of sand. We need investment on brains. I wish people could learn from the history and identify PMLN tricks to fool people. Recommend

  • jealous much?
    Jun 2, 2015 - 10:54AM

    Ppl who are being jealous should know that Punjab is far ahead in terms of education as well, highest literacy rate and best infrastructure as per latest report of Alif Ailan, and do not forget the solar parks and other power projects being developed in punjab by provincial gov
    Metros are just icing on the cakeRecommend

  • WB
    Jun 2, 2015 - 12:05PM

    @sabi: The poor will take the metro bus to a hospital without medicine, but I am sure they’ll enjoy the ride!Recommend

  • Usman
    Jun 2, 2015 - 5:23PM

    Great work by the govt. but when I see the inflation on the rise, poor living hand to mouth, lower middle class becoming poor, utility bills and food related basic items going out of reach, Metro Project becomes pointless. Recommend

  • Saira Khan
    Jun 3, 2015 - 6:19AM

    @jealous much?:
    How many niharis does it take to talk like that?Recommend

  • alif alan
    Jun 3, 2015 - 10:04AM

    Dear Buddies,
    I do not wonder reading people criticizing metro bus system for isloo-pindi, as they are either belong to that part of the city where metro route is not present or they are burger families, chanting new party who has recently been involved in mass rigging in LB election in the North Eastern part of Pakistan. Pakistan PaindabadRecommend

  • alif alan
    Jun 3, 2015 - 10:17AM

    Dear Establishment,
    I appreciate MBS, Pak-China Eco Corridor and other projects. Nevertheless, following areas also need proper attention:-
    1) Quality Education with proper training on mannerism for all Pakistanis
    2) Incentives and tough criterion/ training for teacher of Pakistan
    3) Higher Education based on International Standard(we dont need machines to publish papers)
    4) Technology Parks
    5) Environment & Cleanliness
    6) Encouraging youngsters for self employment
    7) Transparent Privatization of Government Industries/ departments
    8) Robust Standardization and Powerful Regulatory Authorities
    9) Introduce land system for poor people against feudalism
    10) Modernization (not fashion) in every aspect of life
    11) Strengthen State Institutions
    12) others (those missed out)
    Last but not least…..Stay out of Corruption and Nepotism Recommend

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