ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Friday received bids from four international firms for procuring 30 buses to launch metro service from Peshawar Mor to the Islamabad International Airport (IIA).

The bids were received in response to the CDA invitation from Hanger Bus Company, Master Motors Yutong, AVES Enterprises and Foton Company. A consultant of the CDA will evaluate the profiles of the companies after which the civic body will open the financial bids of the qualifying firms by the end of this month.

“After opening financial bids, we will award the contract to the eligible company to provide us 30 buses,” said a CDA official, adding that the civic body wanted to acquire the buses within four months to meet the deadline of starting the service on March 23.

The official said 24 buses would operate from Peshawar Mor to N5 bus station near G.T. Road while six others, having extra space for luggage, would run from N5 to the airport round the clock.

The CDA would procure the buses through the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The corridors and stations of the metro track have already been constructed and now command and control, ticketing, station management, cleanliness and security systems were to be completed.

“We have already hired services of a consultant who has started work to complete the project,” said an engineer of the civic authority.

The consultant, who was hired in August this year, is supposed to complete the project within eight months.

In March this year, the National Highway Authority (NHA), after construction of the corridor and stations, handed over the project to the CDA.

The NHA had launched work on the 25.6km-long track from Peshawar Mor to IIA worth Rs16 billion in Jan 2017.

The project was supposed to complete in Aug 2018 but its civil work was completed earlier this year.

The CDA took over the project in March this year on the direction of the federal government when it was decided that the government would provide funds to the CDA through the PSDP.

For the fiscal year 2020-21, the government has earmarked Rs300 million for the CDA for the project.

On the other hand, after shifting of the airport from Chaklala to Fatehjang, commuters have been facing hardship due to the absence of a transport system to the new airport.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2021

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