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Thread: ECNEC approves Rs23.8b Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wattan's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Pakistan Pakistan

    ECNEC approves Rs23.8b Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service

    ISLAMABAD: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Saturday approved the 13 kilometere long Metro Bus Service project between Rawalpindi and Islamabad, just days before the Supreme Court is due to hear about the environmental costs of the project.
    In a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister office on Saturday, the Rs23.839 billion project was cleared.

    The project now needs to secure clearance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the environmental protection agency.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani last week took notice of the ‘flawed’ route alignment of Islamabad section of the project in a bid to avert possible threat to the environment.

    The project’s cost will be shared by the federal and Punjab governments. The federal government will contribute Rs13.419 billion whereas the Punjab government will chip in Rs10.419 billion.

    The service aims to provide residents of the twin cities a high quality mass transit option. As part of the project, the Peshawar Morr Interchange will be constructed. The interchange is expected to redress the long standing complaint of congestion at this inter section.

    The project envisages construction of over 13 km long dedicated signal free corridor of 9.60 to 10.10 meters width at normal section and from 19.00 to 21.10 meters width at Metro Bus System (MBS) stations and tranches in Islamabad Territory. The proposed corridor will accommodate articulated buses running simultaneously in both directions.

    MBS project will start from IJ Principal Road at Faizabad where Rawalpindi portion terminates, and will traverse through IJ Principal Road, 9th Avenue, Jinnah Avenue and finally terminate at the Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad. The Islamabad portion includes Peshawar Morr Interchange as per CDA design and a provision for 14 bus stations with allied facilities.

    The meeting was attended by Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman, Federal Secretaries and senior officials from central and provincial governments.

  2. #2
    Member dilkumar's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Re: ECNEC approves Rs23.8b Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service

    Well done on metro bus service for Islamabad-Rawalpindi. Now one for interior Sindh as well.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Pakistan France

    For Pindi-Islamabad commuters: Nawaz flags off metro bus project


    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated on Sunday a multibillion-rupee mass transit project for the twin cities and said that it would be replicated in Multan in the next phase. The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service project will be completed at a cost of Rs44.21 billion within 10 months.

    After unveiling the plaque, the premier addressed a gathering at Rawalpindi where extraordinary security was in place for the occasion. He promised the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, additional funds after the latter complained that the 50/50 cost-sharing formula for the project was not in favour of his province.

    “The nation will see positive developments with each passing day,” he said, pointing to an array of projects that his government has planned over the next four years, including Karachi motorway, Islamabad-Muzaffarabad train service and new Islamabad airport.
    He said the government was also working on a plan to end power outages and 22,000 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid over the next four years.

    The prime minister recalled that Pakistan witnessed brief stints of development when his party, the PML-N, was voted to power twice in the 1990s. In this context, he specifically referred to the country’s nuclear programme and the network of world-class motorways.

    Subsequent military regimes and even political governments did nothing for the people and instead plunged the country into crises. “The nations that were 30 years behind us back then are 30 years ahead of us [in terms of development] today,” he regretted. “The previous regimes deliberately kept the nation backward in order to prolong their rules.”

    He said peace was a prerequisite for development. With this in mind, the government launched a peace initiative which, the premier said, was going ahead at a ‘satisfactory pace’. A face-to-face meeting between the government negotiating team and Taliban Political Shura members will be held in a ‘day or two’, he added.

    “Terrorism, corruption, unemployment, indiscipline and poverty are rampant today,” Nawaz said but hoped that peace would be restored and the country would get rid of the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

    Coming to another important topic, economy, the premier said the country’s economic indicators were positive. “I’ve directed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to ensure the US dollar stays below 100 but not lower than Rs98 so that both importers and exporters could benefit,” he added.
    In his address on the occasion, the Punjab chief minister said Rawalpindi and Islamabad would become twin cities in real sense after the completion of the metro bus project. He also complained that the cost-sharing formula was not in favour of his province and sought more funds from the prime minister.

    “Affected traders will be compensated for their property according to the market value and for the disturbance of their businesses,” he said. At the same time, he came down hard on the critics of the metro bus. “Those who are criticising the project do not bother if students reach their schools late, or a patient dies in ambulance on way to hospital,” he said. “They [critics] are just playing politics.”
    A documentary shown on the occasion pointed out there will be no environmental impact of the project as no green area will be affected during the construction of the project and it will not violate the master plan of Islamabad.

    It also showed the route of the metro bus that will start from Flashman’s Hotel Chowk on Murree Road and end at Pakistan Secretariat covering a distance of 23.2 kilometres. From Faizabad, Rawalpindi, the bus will run on IJP Road, 9th Avenue and Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area and culminate near the Pakistan Secretariat.

    The track will have 24 modern terminals for passengers. Of these, 10 will be on Murree Road while 14 in Islamabad. Initially, 60 buses will ply from Rawalpindi to Islamabad catering to over 150,000 passengers.
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2014.

  4. #4
    Member Amina-Shaikh's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Re: For Pindi-Islamabad commuters: Nawaz flags off metro bus project

    I must say that this is an important project, and we need this mass transit project for Islamabad/Rawalpindi; we do not have adequate transportation as of now in these cities.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Pakistan United Arab Emirates

    Re: For Pindi-Islamabad commuters: Nawaz flags off metro bus project

    Im sorry but after all the promises of reducing load shedding and nothing changing I thing projects like this become futile and in comparison irrelevant.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Islamabad Metro bus project cost may escalate to Rs50bn

    RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has started revising the budget of the metro bus project as the estimated cost is likely to go up from Rs44.21 billion to Rs50 billion.

    A senior official of the RDA told Dawn that increase in land and construction material cost, purchase of escalators for bus stations, relocation of shrine on Sixth Road and bus depot land were some of the factors that had contributed to increasing the project cost.

    Know more: Metro Bus or Mars: The problem with our priorities

    No work has taken place on Parade Lane and Blue Area for the last two months due to the sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the official said, adding that the contractor was demanding payment for the extra days needed to complete the project.

    He said that the relocation of gas and water pipelines and discovery of lines that had previously not been accounted for at Peshawar Mor and Constitution Avenue had also increased the cost under this head from Rs2.1 billion to Rs4 billion.

    The sit-ins have also resulted in road blockade, forcing contractors to buy iron and cement from local industries at prices higher than those quoted in the agreement. Some portions of the ongoing project have been damaged at Parade Lane for which contractors have demanded compensation.

    Political unrest in the capital blamed for increase in expenses
    For land acquisition, he said Rs1.2 billion had been allocated, but now the cost has increased to Rs2 billion.

    He said earlier, a shrine on Murree Road was not falling on the route of the bus service but later that area was also included due to which the government had to acquire more land and compensate the custodian of the shrine.

    A total of 27 kanals, including 19 kanals of private land, will be acquired for the construction of bus stations on Murree Road. The 23.2km-long elevated road will have 10 bus stations in Rawalpindi and 14 in Islamabad.

    When contacted, Commissioner Rawalpindi and Project Director Metro Bus Project Zahid Saeed said the RDA was working as per its plan. He admitted that work was slow because of political unrest in Islamabad.

    He said work on I.J. Principal Road and 9th Avenue was also progressing at a slow pace due to relocation of graveyard and acquisition of land for metro bus depot. However, he said work would pick up pace after the Islamabad High Court allowed relocation of the graveyard.

    He said the RDA managed to convince the custodian of the shrine on Sixth Road to relocate the grave and in this regard, payments had been made to him.

    However, he said the RDA had called a meeting of contractors on Sunday to review work on all eight packages of the metro bus project. He said all hurdles to the project would be removed soon.

    Published in Dawn, September 27th , 2014

  7. #7
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    UK UK

    Re: Islamabad Metro bus project cost may escalate to Rs50bn

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Know more: Metro Bus or Mars: The problem with our priorities
    What is the holy impoverished, unwashed "Awaam" to do with Mars? They need jobs, but Pakistan is hostile to investors because Awaami politicians" and bureaucrats want their cut out of the gross, no pay no play investor!

    Is investing really Islamic or going to Mars? I mean with a metrobus you are pro-poor, that means you want people to continue to be poor, so that you can assist them in their effort to survive and that is certainly Islamic.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wattan's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Re: Islamabad Metro bus project cost may escalate to Rs50bn

    With the price escalation I wonder if the commissions for Nawaz and other middlemen will go up as well

  9. #9
    Member saeed1000's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    POL price cut leaves commuters, motorists high and dry

    LAHORE: The artificial shortage of POL products in the aftermath of around 10 percent reduction in its prices announced by the government caused great inconvenience to the public and they suffered greatly due to closure of filling stations and long queues at those which remained opened.
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced decrease in POL price following sharp decline in crude oil prices in the international market. The government announced over Rs 9 reduction in the POL price with effect from December 1.
    However the decision was not implemented at once and the consumers faced problems. It has become a practice of filling station owners that whenever oil prices are increased they implement the new prices forthwith with delight but it occurs contrary, they appear hesitant to pass on the benefit to the end consumers. Continuing with this habit, most of the petrol pump owners stopped oil supply to the citizens while others remained overcharging and supplying fuel on the old prices.
    According to a survey of the city, the petrol supply was stopped at various private filling station in areas of Mughalpura, Dhrampura, Harbanspura, Manawa, Tajpura, Lakshmi, Batapur, Gohawa Morr, Gulberg, Cantonment and other areas due to which citizens faced serious problems.
    On the other hand city district government sealed off as many as five petrol pumps over failure to supply petrol to consumers on the new prices.
    It is noteworthy that following decrease in oil prices in the international market the price of petroleum were decreased in three months in Pakistan by Rs 21 from Rs Rs 108 to Rs 84.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pol.jpg  

  10. #10
    Member saeed1000's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Rs 220 million released for beautification of Metro Bus passages in Rawalpindi

    RAWALPINDI: A sum of Rs 220 million have been released for beautification of passages of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus (RIMB) packages.
    A sum of Rs 100 million has been provided for beautification of 3 packages of Rawalpindi and Rs 120 million for 5 packages of Islamabad.
    Commissioner Rawalpindi division said Metro administration has released the funds. At least 341 pillars have been built in Rawalpindi as part of the RIMB and arrangements are underway to make them secure. A 3.5 feet wide green belt is also being carved out thereon.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Metro-Bus.jpg  

  11. #11
    Member cb4's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    Pakistan Pakistan

    PM to inaugurate Rs45bn Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metro Bus Project

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's inauguration of Islamabad's new half-billion dollar Metro Bus Project went underway on Thursday.

    Provincial chief ministers, federal ministers as well as leaders of various political parties are among those attending the inauguration.

    The 23-kilometre line, where 68 air-conditioned buses will carry an estimated 135,000 passengers a day along exclusive, signal-free lanes, links the neat, leafy capital with its sprawling twin city Rawalpindi.

    The project was built in 13 months — six months longer than planned — at a cost of 44.84 billion rupees, and will use buses from Turkey.

    Also read: Ruling the road: PML-N govt set to win hearts with launch of Metro Bus Project

    Critics have branded the Metro Bus, which is opening as the economy slowly rebuilds after years of stagnation, as “wasteful”, saying priority should be given to spending on education, health and the environment.

    But the government hopes it will give the economies of the twin cities a boost by making travel easier and cheaper for commuters currently reliant on a patchy network of minibuses and vans.

    Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said the service would be a boon for people on low-incomes.

    “It will also help cool the anger of people who have to travel in shoddy vans while government officials, politicians and rich people drive past in their air-conditioned and bullet-proof vehicles,” Shahbaz told journalists earlier this week.
    Dust and disruption

    With gleaming grey tiles, escalators, elevators and modern glass and steel structures with wavy red roofs, the 24 stations of the new line would not look out of place in a more developed country.

    Completion of the project will be welcomed by many if only as heralding the end of more than a year of major construction work.

    Since the ground-breaking in February last year, large sections of key roads have been dug up, causing huge traffic snarl-ups — to add to the noise and dust of the building work.

    "They dug up the entire route at once without any planning to divert traffic," said office assistant Ishtiaq Ahmed, who travels daily from Rawalpindi to Islamabad by car.

    "The daily commute time has increased by one hour at least because the construction has caused congestion on all roads and I've had several warnings from my boss for turning up late," Ahmed told AFP.

    Work was scheduled to be completed by December, but was repeatedly delayed, notably by months of political protests in the capital last summer over alleged election fraud.

    Civic rights activist Zafarullah Khan said the project was imposed on the people and no public hearing and environmental impact assessments were carried out before its start.

    "It is an artificial transplant in the chaotic development model of Islamabad. Who decided? The citizens of the capital were not consulted," Khan told AFP.

    He said the “only benefit” would be that for 20 rupees people can enjoy a ride in an air-conditioned bus in the height of summer.

    Islamabad was designed in the 1960s on a grid pattern and some have slammed the metrobus as the latest act of vandalism on the original plan.

    They say the new bus route spoils the grandeur of the central Jinnah Avenue, the broad boulevard which runs from Parliament House to the far end of the the capital.
    'Huddled like chickens'

    It is the second Metro Bus scheme in Pakistan, after the one that opened under Shahbaz Sharif's guidance in Lahore in 2013.

    As in Islamabad, that met with scepticism initially but has proved popular, currently ferrying up to 12,000 passengers an hour along its 29-kilometre length.

    Officials say a mass transit system is indispensable for any city the size of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, and the existing set-up had made commuting an agonising experiencing for people, particularly women and the elderly.

    Private mini-vans, many rickety and unroadworthy, are often dangerously overloaded, with men, women, children and students stuffed in cramped spaces like livestock.

    “The Metro Bus will be a great boon for commuters as currently they have to travel in small over-crowded vans and dilapidated mini-buses,” office worker Aurangzeb Khan told AFP. "It's quite a struggle everyday to catch a van and then be huddled into it like chickens."

    Women and the elderly are pushed and harassed during travel, he said, hoping the metrobus might bring a measure of dignity to the daily commute.

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