Metro misses today’s deadline for project completion, officials say project to complete in mid-Feb while sources say it will take at least till March
The Punjab government has failed to meet the deadline for the completion of Metro Bus Project (MBP) in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and MBP Monitoring and Implementation Committee Chairman Hanif Abbasi has given a mid-February date for its inauguration.
The project was to be completed by today January 31, 2015, but due to addition of components, inclusion of new drainage pipelines and government’s apparent incompetency, the project is being delayed till mid-March, an official in Capital Development Authority (CDA) told Pakistan Today.
Another official in the Punjab government said that Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has expressed anger over the delay in MBP’s completion and directed concerned officials to complete it by mid-February. He further warned the concerned officials that postponement in the project would not be tolerated anymore.
The Punjab CM also held a meeting with Abbasi who blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) whose sit-ins hindered the project’s development. He further claimed that he was fully confident to achieve the completion date of the project in December instead of January.
Furthermore, Pakistan Today conducted a survey among the staff working on the project who said that the project is still not sure to be completed by mid-February. According to the workers, still enough work is left to be done, but they were sure enough that the overall project inauguration would possible till in the end of March.
Official spokesman of the MBP, Assistant Director Hafiz Muhammad Irfan, claimed that now the new deadline would be met and the project would be inaugurated on February 15.
On the other side, commuters of twin cities are facing severe environmental and health problems along with traffic jams due to the said project.
“Metro bus projects are politically motivated with intention to facilitate money making by politically patronized enterprises. There is money involved in each step of the project,” said Khurram Hameed, a citizen of Islamabad.
Abid Bukhari, a student of Islamic International University, said, “The federal capital is a well-planned city unlike Lahore and Rawalpindi, where there is a well-maintained road system which has expanded immensely over the years, and excellent roads provide commuters with relief during rush hours. Thus there was no need of this kind of project in the capital.”
“The city, often called the ‘green capital’ took great pride in its large population of trees which were not only beneficial for the environment in a time of increasing climatic changes but also used to give the city its attractive beauty that made it one of the most green cities to Pakistan to live in. However, Metro has destroyed it all,” an elderly resident of Sector F 6 said.