CDA fails to launch CNG bus service despite PM’s orders


Despite strict directives of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has not initiated work on the plan for launching a CNG bus service to solve the growing traffic problems and address environmental issues in the city. “In July, the prime minister had directed the authority to launch the bus service within six months, the CDA had made no plan despite the passage of over three months”, an official source told Pakistan Today.
He said the relevant directorate of CDA not only failed so far to start work on the plan but also unable to take all the stakeholders on board. “They have not consulted the transporters who might create problem for the authority in future,” he said. The official said the CDA did not approach the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration for getting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for getting clearance to run buses within the city. An ICT official said the CDA had to take officials of the Rawalpindi Transport Authority, Islamabad Transport Authority and even local bus and wagon service operators onboard before launching the service.
He said currently, private transport was the major means of mobility between two cities whereas 1,800 minibuses comprising of Mazda, Toyota Hiace and Suzuki vans were plying on 16 routes within and between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. “There is no organised traffic system or bus service operating between the twin cites and the level of service offered by the minibuses is far below any acceptable standard; therefore, commuters have to relay on either the two wheelers or other forms of private transport.”
The official said according to a survey conducted by the CDA, over 210,000 vehicles plied on three corridors connecting both the cities carrying around 525,000 passengers daily. The main reason of increased traffic-related problems was the growing population, with Islamabad and Rawalpindi growing at a rate of more than 4 percent per annum, he added.
The present population of Islamabad is 1.124 million and currently both the cities are accommodating over 2.78 million people.
With present growth trend, it is expected that it would increase to 7 million in next 25 years.
The official said no significant new transport infrastructure had been added in the last decade because of which the problem was augmenting with each passing day in the city.