Rawalpindi roads not wide enough for Metro buses: expert
The city roads are narrow and it is not possible to ply Metro Bus Service on them, said Transport Planning Unit (TPU) Engineer Hamid Khan during his visit to Rawalpindi on Monday.
Moreover, he said, the introduction of Metro buses is not feasible in Rawalpindi as a separate track for them could not be made on the already congested Benazir Bhutto Road. District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Owais Manzoor Tarar was also with him during his visit.
Transport Engineer Hamid Khan specially came to Rawalpindi from Lahore on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. The Punjab CM is keen to start Metro Bus Service between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Engineer Hamid Khan will present his initial report to the chief minister on his return to Lahore.
During his visit to Rawalpindi, he said that the plying of Metro Bus Service in Rawalpindi would need high cost as compared to Lahore because no flyover or underpass in Rawalpindi was built as per its requirement. He said that Metro buses need wide roads. Mareer Chowk Bridge, Committee Chowk Underpass, Chandni Chowk Flyover and Sixth Road Flyover were not feasible for plying 18 feet high buses. Secondly, Nullah Leh was the main hurdle because roads could not be widened due to it.
District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Owais Manzoor Tarar told ‘The News’ that Benazir Bhutto Road was the best option to ply Metro buses, but it should be widened, including its flyovers and underpasses. He said that the Metro buses are 18 feet high having around 135 seats.
The Metro Bus Service would be a joint project of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, he said. He said that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was keen to start its service in Rawalpindi and Islamabad soon. “We want to ply Metro buses on Benazir Bhutto Road because most commuters travel on it rather than on Airport Road or other routes,” he said.
Reliable sources disclosed that the much-awaited Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project might be launched in November for which Rs30 billion had been allocated by the federal government. The final feasibility report would be completed by next month and tenders would soon be floated in international media to invite bids for launching the transport system, sources disclosed.
Talking to ‘The News,’ commuters said that a decent government transport service should be launched in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad at the earliest to end the monopoly of powerful private transporters. “The launching of Metro Bus Service in Lahore has created a sense of deprivation among commuters of twin cities. Public here wonder when a similar transport facility will be made available to them to save them from ill-mannered conductors of wagons and mini-buses,” they said.
Muhammad Naveed, a commuter, said that private transporters, taking full advantage of helplessness of commuters, have been demanding fares on their own will. Recently, they observed five-day strike, which crippled the life in the city, while cabbies looted commuters with both hands during the strike. With the launch of Metro Bus Service, the monopoly of powerful public transporters would end, he hoped.
Sana Tanvir, a workingwoman, appreciated the plan to start Metro Bus Service between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. She said that it would ease the difficulties of commuters.http://www.thenews.c....-buses:-expert