PM inaugurates work on metro bus route to new airport


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, the other day inaugurated the construction of a metro bus route to link the Islamabad with the New Islamabad International Airport near Fatehjang.

The construction of the 25.6 kilometer-long route from Peshawar Mor to the new airport is expected to be completed before Independence Day this year. Speaking to the media at the occasion, PM stated that work on dormant project that were ignored by the previous governments will be completed. Sharif went on to say that the extent of corruption in  the country is such that if the government starts investigating these cases, all of time would be taken up by these, leaving no time to deliver.

The metro bus project is aimed at facilitating the middle and lower middle class, the PM stated further. Islamabad’s Deputy Mayor Syed Zeeshan Naqvi is reported to have said  that the metro route project had been awarded to three companies – NLC, FWO and Metracon.

As the project completion deadline has been set as Aug 14, a few of the companies have sublet the contracts of 1 km each in order to initiate work on different points at the same time. This will ensure that the project is completed in a timely manner.

Naqvi stated that the number of buses have not been finalized as yet, but it is expected that  around 25,000 people will be working at the new airport and most of them would be commuting via the metro service.

He further added that the project cost is estimated at Rs18 billion, stating further that the route would consist of 4 interchanges at Golra Mor, N-5 Interchange, M-1/M-2 Interchange and Top City Interchange. There will be 14 bus stops, 11 underpasses and 12 bridges, he said.

The PM also reviewed the construction work on the new airport and was apprised that nearly 95pc work on the project had been completed and the airport would be fully ready by August 14. Sharif was also informed that the airport would have a capacity of handling 4,500 passengers at a time with 15 stations where two A-380 aircraft would be able to dock simultaneously. The airport will have state-of-the-art facilities, including cargo handling, safety and security, passenger facilitation and parking service.

It is estimated that the project cost of the new airport is around Rs100 billion. To supply water to the airport, two dams – Ramma and Kassana – would be constructed. The Ramma Dam will be built at a cost of Rs1.7bn and will supply 3.3 million gallon daily (MGD) water while the Kassana Dam, which will be completed in the second phase, will provide 503 MGD water to the airport.