ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is likely to inaugurate the Green Line and Blue Line metro bus services on Saturday (today) or Monday in Bhara Kahu after he decided to postpone the inauguration slated to be held at Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

The prime minister had initially planned to launch the services during a function at the Pak-China Centre but the ceremony was later moved to the PM’s Office.

But in another change of plans, the premier decided to launch the service at Jillani Stop in Bhara Kahu where the officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) remained busy till late at night to complete the arrangements for the launch.

Even though PM Sharif did not launch the service at the PM’s Office he did chair a meeting on the issue which was attended by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, PML-N leader Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Anjum Aqeel, PM’s establishment aide Ahad Cheema, CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed and others.

PM to inaugurate buses in Bhara Kahu in next few days

New metro buses

The CDA is all set to launch Green Line Metro from Bhara Kau (Jillani Stop) to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). It will be a non-stop bus service till August owing to the absence of operational metro stations on the route.

As the existing two-lane Murree Road in the Bhara Kau area is already facing traffic congestion, it was decided that metro service will be started from Jillani Stop -- the starting point of Bhara Kau from the Dhokri side. An electric feeder bus, on the other hand, will transport passengers from Athal Chowk to Jillani Stop.

Meanwhile, the Blue Line service will be launched from Koral to PIMS as a non-stop express service till the completion of metro stations in August. The National Logistic Cell has been constructing the stations on the route to facilitate the service. A feeder bus will bring passengers from the PWD area to Koral station for the Blue Line service.

According to CDA officials, the construction work on both routes will be completed by August 14.

It is relevant to note here that the bus services will be launched in mix traffic for the time being on existing roads and in the future, the CDA will construct separate and designate corridors for them.

For Fiscal Year 2022-23, the federal government has already earmarked funds amounting to Rs1,500 million for both services. According to budgetary documents, the government has earmarked Rs1,000 million for Rawat-Faizabad Metro bus project (Blue Line) and Rs500 million has been earmarked for Bhara Kahu-Faizabad Metro (Green Line).

The budgetary documents show that both projects will be given funds amounting to Rs10 billion (each) in the coming years, however, for the upcoming year, Rs1 billion will be given for the Blue Line service and Rs500 million for the Green Line service.

Recently, during a meeting at the CDA headquarters, it was discussed that out of 30 metro buses, which has arrived from China, the CDA will ply 10 on Blue Line, five on Green Line and 15 will ply on Peshawar Mor to Airport route in place of borrowed buses, which are currently plying there. Currently, the CDA is running the airport bus service through borrowed buses of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service.

The said meeting also discussed the proposed fare and participants were told that it was proposed that Rs50 should be charged for Green Line and Blue Line Service while Rs50 should be charged from Peshawar Mor to G.T. Road and then from G.T. Road to Airport, Rs100 will be should be charged per passenger.

However, sources said that after the inauguration of the bus services, the exact fare amount will be made public by the CDA.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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