ISLAMABAD: As many as 30 buses for the Peshawar Mor - Airport Metro Bus Service are expected to reach Islamabad after 20 days.

These buses, which were supposed to be sent in February, could not be transported at that time due to the spread of Covid-19 in Shanghai. Due to this, Capital Development Authority (CDA) had been forced to start the service using borrowed buses.

The authority, a couple of weeks ago, on the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif started the much-delayed service with 15 borrowed buses, which were taken from Rawalpindi - Islamabad Metro Bus Service.

The CDA asked its contractor to change the port and on Sunday, the buses were sent from Zhenjiang Port. “CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed was in touch with Chinese authorities and with the contractor and finally on Sunday, the buses were sent,” a source told Dawn.

Sources in CDA said 10 of the buses will be operated on the route from Rawat to Faizabad. Earlier, the civic agency had placed the order for procuring 30 buses to an international bus manufacturing company called Higer Bus Company, which had submitted a bid of Rs728 million for the 30 buses.

Work on the 25.6-kilometre long metro bus track worth Rs16 billion was started by the PML-N government in 2017. It was supposed to be completed within a year however, after the change of government in 2018, the project saw an inordinate delay.

The project was executed by the National Highway Authority (NHA) and last year on the direction of the then government, CDA took over the project and started the process of procuring buses and setting up the command, control and ticketing systems.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his first day in office, directed the CDA to run the bus service within five days as this project had been delayed for long. On his direction, the officials of CDA and other government organisations remained on their toes and successfully launched the bus service. Free rides were provided by the service to passengers in Ramazan.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2022



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