RAWALPINDI: The chairman of the Coordination Committee on Metro Bus Service and Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed on Monday directed the City Traffic Police (CTP) Rawalpindi and civic bodies to submit their alternative plans within seven days to initiate work on the much-awaited rapid transit project.
The project, being executed with a cost of Rs 34.80 billion, will be completed in 11 months to ensure speedy and decent transport service for the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Chairing a meeting of the Coordination Committee, Zahid Saeed asked the departments concerned to devise their strategies, and that all relevant departments would be bound to ensure full implementation on these by February 26.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is likely to inaugurate the project on February 28, he added.
National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) Vice President Haji Iftikhar, Rawalpindi Station Commander Brigadier Zahid Ahmed Rana, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Managing Director Raja Shaukat Mehmood, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) Chief Executive Muhammad Yousaf, Chief Traffic Officer Syed Ishtiaq Shah, Rawalpindi Development Authority Engineering Director Muhammad Akram, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Javed Paul, Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Muhammad Rizwan and representatives of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited and Sui gas also attended the meeting.
The chairman informed the participants of the meeting that an 8.6 kilometre elevated track, consisting of 10 bus stops, would be constructed from Flashman’s Chowk in Saddar to Faizabad.
He said that the metro bus would make stopovers at 10 points, including Flashman, Mareer, Liaquat Bagh, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rehmanabad, Sixth Road, Shamsabad and Faizabad.
He said the project would facilitate around 150,000 commuters travelling by public transport daily, as around 60 air-conditioned buses would initially ply on the Rawalpindi-Islamabad route.
He reiterated that the project would be completed within the given time, saying that the contractor would be given incentives on early and timely completion, while penalty would be imposed in case of any delay.
Meanwhile, insufficient reserved seats in public transport continue to create problems for women commuters, who have to wait for hours at bus stops to reach their destination.
A majority of the workingwomen in the twin cities use public transport to reach their offices, as taking a cab on a daily basis it is not affordable
However, according to public transport regulations, only two seats are reserved for women in public vans, which leaves women with no other option but to wait for hours at bus stops, particularly in the morning and evening.
Talking to APP on Monday, Shahida Sukhera, an advocate, said that two front seats were reserved for women in public vans more than three decades ago, when the ratio of women commuters was very low. “Now, a large number of women commute daily by buses, but the authorities concerned never paid any heed to their grievances.”
She said that a large number of women were rendering services in almost every walk of life, but unfortunately, the number of reserve seats was not revised.
Aisha Khan, a commuter, while sharing her remarks, said that the nation was now enjoying the effects of women empowerment, and women were producing much better results as compare to their male colleagues, but no one was ready to give them facilities according to their needs.
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