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RAWALPINDI: A briefing on the Metro Bus Service here on Monday was informed that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will inaugurate work on the project on February 28.

During the briefing, Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed directed different departments to speed up the initial work on the project.

The briefing was attended by Chief Commissioner Islamabad Jawaad Paul, Station Commander Rawalpindi Brigadier Zahid Rana, DCO Sajid Zafar Dall, Chief Executive Officer Iesco Mohammad Yousuf, Nespak vice-president Qazi Iftikhar and others.

The Rawalpindi commissioner asked the departments concerned to start shifting their utility services from the route of the metro bus within a week.

He also directed the traffic police to plan alternative routes for traffic between Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The commissioner said the total cost of the project would be Rs34.08 billion.

The bus route will start from Saddar in Rawalpindi and end at Pakistan Secretariat in Islamabad via Benazir Bhutto Road, I.J. Principal Road and Jinnah Avenue.

The total length of the route will be 23.2 kilometres.

“Work on the project will be started in March and completed by the end of January 2015.

As many as 10 bus stations will be established in Rawalpindi and 14 in Islamabad while 60 buses will be introduced initially.

He said the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), the National Logistics Cell (NLC) and 19 private companies had applied for the contract of the work at six different points.

He said the FWO and NLC had been asked to get the contract through the opening bidding as the chief minister was interested in involving the private builders in the project.

Chief Commissioner Jawaad Paul stressed the need for coordination among the national departments to complete the project on time. He said more than 150,000 people will daily benefit from the project.

The Nespak vice president said in Rawalpindi the bus stations would be established at Haider Road, Marrir Chowk, Liaquat Bagh, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Chandni Chowk, Rehmanabad, Shamsabad and Faizabad.

“From Faizabad, the metro bus will turn onto I.J. Principal Road and enter Jinnah Avenue via 9th Avenue,” he said.