ISLAMABAD: The new city manager on Thursday directed the public transport wing of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to immediately introduce a mechanism to give 50pc fare concessions to students and senior citizens.
Whereas, children below 10 years of age should be provided free travel facilities in the Metro Bus Service.
The newly-appointed CDA chairman, retired Capt Noorul Amin Mengal, chaired the first meeting of the authority and got a briefing from the transport wing about ongoing metro bus services and the new plan.
“Today, I directed the wing concerned to introduce a card-based system to give 50pc discount in fare to students and people above the age of 60. Similarly, we have decided not to charge fare for children below 10 years of age,” the new chairman said.
Children below 10 to travel free-of-cost; purple line metro bus service planned on I.J. Principal Road
Talking to Dawn, Mr Mengal said the engineering wing was also directed to revise PC-Is of the Expressway and I.J. Principal Road for construction of bus stops for the service.
“Construction work of widening of these two roads is already in progress therefore, it is the right time to revise the PC-Is for getting construction work of bus stops done from the same contractors,” he said, adding that quality travel facilities should be provided to citizens.
Furthermore, it was decided in the meeting that immediate steps should be taken to start Purple Line Metro bus service on I.J. Principal Road. Similarly, the Blue Line bus service would run up to Rawat, according to a press release issued by CDA.
It said silver buses would be plied from Aabpara to Tramri while purple buses would operate on I.J. Principal Road.
The new CDA head directed the transport wing to hold a meeting with the NRTC for procuring a fleet of 20 buses from them on government-to-government basis to ply on the new two routes. He also directed that new buses to be plied on 13 routes should be electric buses.
Consultant for 13 new routes
The CDA has issued tender documents to three government-owned consulting companies.
The civic body is going to hire a consultant for detailed design and construction supervision, under rules 42(f) of the Public Procurement and Regulatory Authority.
Under this clause, without holding open competitions, government-run organisations will be able to hire services of other government organisations. The tender documents in the form of letters were issued to three companies – Nespak, DDNC and Engineering Consultancy Service Punjab - requesting them to deposit their financial bids, which will be opened next month.
Once hired, the consultant will prepare bidding documents for getting services of 150 buses which will be plied on 13 new routes, besides designing of an estimated 216 bus stops, five depots and so on.
Last month, the CDA had cancelled the bid to hire 150 buses for 13 new routes. Officials said the civic agency, in the advertisement, had stated that firms could submit bids either for diesel hybrid or electronic vehicle (EV) buses. In response to the advertisement, only two firms - Daewoo and Faisal Movers (FM) - submitted their bids and the bid of Faisal Movers turned out to be the lowest. They said FM deposited the bid with fare amounting to Rs321 per kilometre for diesel hybrid and Daewoo at Rs366 per kilometre fare for EV buses. According to officials, there was a difference between the rate of hybrid and EV buses but FM applied for hybrid buses and its rate was lower and Daewoo submitted the bid for EV and its rate was higher, but the category was different.
When bids were opened, FM was declared the lowest bidder, however, Daewoo pleaded before the CDA that since there was an option in the advertisement that participating companies could apply for hybrid or EV modes, therefore, it had applied for EV and quoted the rate for it, which was obviously higher than that of FM, but the category was different. It also pleaded that the rate of EV and hybrid cannot be compared. To avoid controversy, CDA decided to cancel the said bids and now, it has been decided that new bidding documents would be prepared by the consultant.
While CDA will go for EV buses and three-member teams of CDA officers have been sent to Turkey and Qatar to get complete details of EV buses. According to a study, the 13 routes include the one from Police Foundation/Orange Line Station to Red Line Faiz Ahmed Faiz Station at I-8, Allama Iqbal Station to Red Line Potohar Station, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) to Secretariat, D-12 to G-10, F-11 to Red Line F-8 Station, G-11 to Pims, Aabpara to Tramri Chowk, Nilor to Khanna Pul, Pirwadhai Chowk to Faizabad, B-17 to 26 Number Chungi and I-16 to 26 Number Chungi.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.