Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade has initiated a 22km long Rapid Bus Service route along the railway track, passing through the middle of Peshawar, which will start operations right in first quarter of 2015.
The KPBOIT Vice Chairman, Mohsin Aziz, observed that the feasibility and technical work of the dedicated route, which will originate from Nasir Pur and culminate at Karkhano Market Hayatabad, is under progress.
He said that the proposed 50-feet wide road, very adjacent to the Grand Trunk Road, will be integrated to almost all main arteries of the provincial capital, touching all major residential areas, commercial centers and business hubs.
The chief of KPBOIT maintained that the unique and state of the art road, to be completed with the estimated cost of around Rs2.5 billion well in 2015, will cover dozens of residential and commercial localities along the city’s main GT Road in the heart of the city, linking together Lady Reading Hospital, Sherpao Hospital, Hayat Medical Complex, Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Chowk Yadgar, Bara Road Market, Gur Market, Vegetable & Fruit Market, Karkhano Market and Shoba Bazaar, which is known as the central market of auto spare parts in KPK.
He added that the unique project, dedicated also for ambulances, will cover the main residential areas including Gulbahar Colony, Nishtarabad, Dobgari Gardens, University Town, Cantt area and Jamrud Industrial Estate, Hayatabad, one of the largest industrial clusters in KPK.
He said the KPBOIT will hire the whole land on a lease for a long period and build the track within shortest period. The other infrastructure and rolling of the busses will be arranged by the private sector. The immediate plan is to acquire at least 30 busses, which will continue to ply on the road after every five minutes to facilitate the commuters.
The new dedicated road will reduce the travel time of 22km to just 45 minutes from the present duration of one and a half hours, he claimed.
The head of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade informed that the commuters, facing hours-long traffic jams on GT road, will be facilitated through this modern parallel transport system running along the rail track throughout the city, besides facilitating ambulances usually caught in city’s huge traffic chaos.
Comparing with the highly expensive and stand-alone Metro Bus Service of Lahore Ferozepur Road that does not integrate with the rest of the city, he said the Pishawar Rapid Bus Service will also reach out to those colleges, universities, hospitals and offices nearby, who are unable to avail other private transport.
He said that presently the commuters have to experience the dirty dingy ride on of the old Pishawar transport facilities, whether it be a noisy rickshaw or crowdy local bus. The Pishawar Rapid Bus Service has come as a dignified rescuer to the poor and middle class, especially in the face of not-so-good existing transport facilities. The KPBOIT-planned Dedicated Route, as a modern transport facility will provide a safe, cheaper, quicker and respectable ride option for all, particularly for women and students.
“This practical facility being extended to the masses, is bound to facilitate millions over due course of time.”
He elaborated that the project objectives are: “To provide accessible and time-saving travelling; to develop an environmentally friendly traffic system; to control vehicle emission; the rapid bus service system will ensure travel time saving; the Project will lower the demand of wagon and motorcycle rickshaw thus lowering the emission. Furthermore, the vehicle will have emission of EURO II standards, reducing the adverse environmental effects.”
“As the country continues to experience rapid urbanization more people will need to travel farther to carry on their daily activities. Transport, in other words, is the next big thing in urban planning,” he argued.
The chief of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa BOIT was of the view that transport must not be seen only as an infrastructure issue, but rather as an integral part of the fundamental right of movement. Cities must ensure that residents have a variety of options to exercise this right.
“The KPBOIT-planned Rapid Bus Service will not only be efficient, comfortable and reliable transport system with improved safety conditions but also have positive socio-economic impact to the society,” Mohsin concluded.