ISLAMABAD: As per decision of the federal cabinet and instructions from the interior ministry, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is going to take over the stalled project of Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) Metro Bus Service from the National Highway Authority (NHA).
However, the NHA will be providing an input to the civic agency. The CDA was given the lead role as the government has decided to complete the project by the end of the current year.
In May 2017, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the construction of the metro bus route to connect the federal capital with the new airport near Fatehjang. It was announced that the construction of the 25.6-km-long track from Peshawar Mor to the airport will be completed before Independence Day 2018. The premier had already announced that he would inaugurate the new airport in August that year.
During his interaction with the media at the inauguration of work on the metro bus track near Fatehjang, Mr Sharif had vowed to also complete other dormant projects ignored by the past governments. However, the project worth Rs18 billion could not be completed even after almost four years.
NHA will continue providing input to complete Peshawar Mor to IIA track by end of year, says official
An official in the Ministry of Interior, requesting not to be quoted, said as per the decision of the federal cabinet the ministry had directed the CDA to jointly take over the project along with the NHA.
“Development work could not be completed as washrooms, glasses and electrical appliances are yet to be fixed and installed. Moreover, the metro station near the airport has to be constructed.
The project will be completed by the end of the year as buses are yet to be purchased. Besides, a security system worth Rs1.8 billion is also to be installed,” he said.
The official said the Peshawar Mor-IIA metro bus route will not be as busy as the one between Rawalpindi Saddar and Pak Secretariat.
“Even around 35 per cent buses of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad route are not being used and both the federal and Punjab governments are paying for the buses. If 35pc buses of the Saddar-Secretariat route are used on the Peshawar Mor to the IIA route, the service can be made functional within three to four months because there will be no need to establish a new bus depot,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CDA in a statement said a campaign to plant 250,000 saplings and landscaping in the city were underway simultaneously.
“Landscaping has been done along Srinagar Highway and Peshawar Mor Interchange. Moreover, saplings of different plants are being planted in parks and greenbelts of different sectors. In Rose and Jasmine Garden, 10,000 saplings of 50 varieties of roses have been planted,” it added.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2021