Abbasi rejects undue criticism on metro bus project

RAWALPINDI: Metro bus project Chairman Hanif Abbasi on Wednesday rejected undue and unjustified criticism on the construction of the mass transit plan, saying that some elements do not want a decent and cheap transport service for the public due to personal interests.Addressing the participants on a reception, he said that the project is being appreciated by the world institutions as they have complete knowledge about its importance for public welfare. The Punjab government, Abbasi said, has initiated the project, keeping in view the difficulties being faced by the commuters travelling between the twin cities. With start of the bus service, businessmen, government employees, and students would have decent, cheap, fast, and comfortable transport facility of international standards to reach their respective destinations in the twin cities.On the other hand, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered to avoid damage to private a graveyard which falls in the way of the multi-billion metro bus project.  The court granted the stay to the petitioner Gulam Fareed, till June 12, and issued notices to the Capital development Authority (CDA) chairman, metro bus project director, and chief commissioners of the twin cities. He took the plea that the project may cause demolition of the graveyard of his forefathers. During the course of hearing, Raja Shakeel Abbasi, counsel for petitioner apprised the bench about the apprehensions in this regard.  He said that the contractors have already begun digging the green belt adjoining 9th Avenue, and around 20 graves have already been demolished.To this, the Judge remarked that the construction of the metro bus project should be confined to the boundary of the graveyard, which is situated on a green belt on the 9th Avenue in Sector I8. Justice Shaukat Siddiqui observed that he would not allow the desecration of the graves.    The graveyard, owned by Raja Kaleem, is where his family members were being buried since 1945.   Kaleem, while taking to the media personnel said that his family had relinquished their claim on compensation for ancestral land and had asked the CDA to let them retain the ownership of the graveyard in 1960.

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