Islamabad: Thirty five percent work of Metro Bus Project has been completed so far and the whole project would be completed 2-3 months before the target date, said Hanif Abbasi, Chairman, Metro Bus Project Committee.
He was briefing the business community and civil society on Metro Bus Project at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. MNA Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Chief Commissioner ICT Jawad Paul, Member (Admn) CDA Amir Ali Ahmed and many officers of administration were present at the occasion.
Hanif Abbasi said that Punjab Government has initiated many projects in Rawalpindi during the last 5 years including Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, 400 bed kidney hospital, Technical Training Institute and Flyovers at Chandni Chowk & 6th Road. Now the Punjab Government has started Metro Bus Project to provide modern transport facility to the lower middle class of the twin cities.
He said Metro Bus will cost Rs.44.31-billion and will run on a track of 22.5 Kms with 8.6 Km elevated corridor in Rawalpindi and 13.9 Km on ground track in Islamabad. An amount of about Rs.7 billion is being used to construct a modern interchange at Peshawar More. 10 elevated stations will be set up in Rawalpindi and 14 At Grade stations in Islamabad.
All stations will have underpass or flyover facility for commuters with ramps for special persons. He said the project has been divided into 8 packages with January 2015 as target date for completion. However, he was hopeful that the project would be completed within 6-8 months. The affected traders would be paid compensation ranging from Rs.3.7 million to 4.6 million per Marla as per value of the locality.
Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry said all stakeholders have been taken on board for Metro Bus mega project and termed it as a gift of Punjab Government for the citizens of twin cities.
He said Metro Bus will benefit 1.5 to 2-million low income people with Rs.20 fair. He said the Metro Bus track has the provision to accommodate railway track in future without major changes to the infrastructure. He assured that all concerns of business community would be addressed and their suggestions would be given due consideration.
Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Metro Bus would be a new milestone of development in Rawalpindi and Islamabad as it is a people friendly project and will provide a respectable mode of transportation to low income commuters and especially ladies who otherwise have to travel in unpleasant conditions.
He said an overhead bridge should be built to connect the H-8 with H-9 and to facilitate access of traffic coming from the Islamabad Highway to Margalla Dry Port and Railway Station.
He said no U-turn was planned in Blue Area over Metro Bus track and suggested that U-Turns may be made part of the plan as their non-availability would create lot of problems for businessmen of the area and people of both sides will remain disconnected.
He said environmental impact of the project should be thoroughly studied and trees falling on Metro Bus route should be transplanted instead of cutting them. People should be informed about road closures and diversions through newspaper advertisements prior to any route changes to prevent inconvenience to citizens.
Chief Commissioner ICT Jawad Paul said such projects may currently be an inconvenience but they are investment for the better future of citizens. Amir Ali Ahmed, Member (Admin) CDA said that CDA is working closely with the citizens and the business community of Islamabad to manage all matters including the Metro Bus Project and has resolved most issues of this project. He said that all activities of the mega project are running in a transparent manner.
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