35 percent progress achieved on metro bus project so far

ISLAMABAD: Metro Bus Project Committee Chairman Hanif Abbasi has said that 35 percent work on the project has been completed so far, and that the whole project will be completed before the target date.He was briefing the business community on metro bus project at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Hanif Abbasi said that the Punjab government had initiated many projects in Rawalpindi during the last five 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 respectable transport facility to the lower middle class of the twin cities.”He said that the metro bus would cost Rs 44.31 billion and run on a track of 22.5km with 8.6km elevated corridor in Rawalpindi and 13.9km on ground track in Islamabad. He said that an amount of about Rs 7 billion was being used to construct a modern interchange at Peshawar Morr, adding that 10 elevated stations would 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 Rs 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 would 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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