Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Metro Bus Service in Islamabad on Thursday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Metro Bus Service is undoubtedly one of the best developmental projects of the world.
He said that originally Rs 44 billion were allocated for the project and the cost also included construction of Rs 5 billion for Peshawar Morr, which was not strictly a part of the Metro Bus Project. He said that if that amount is deduced then the cost of metro bus project comes to Rs 39 billion.
He said there are 14 under-passes and 14 pedestrian flyovers on the Metro route. There are also 32 kilometre footpaths on both sides of the track, and 45 kilometre drains, besides 23 kilometres of service roads.
Shahbaz Sharif said that as people from across the country reside in the twin cities, it would be appropriate to call the project Pakistan Metro Bus Project. He also referred to the presence of the leadership of the four provinces at the inaugural ceremony of the project and said their presence at the launch of the project is symbol of national unity and solidarity.
He said that Pakistan can progress and march forward only if the four federating units work together. He said that the Prime Minister would soon lay the foundation stone of the Metro Bus project in Multan, which would also be completed in record time.
He said Nawaz Sharif not only gave the vision for motorways to the country but also took the courageous decision of going nuclear in 1998 to make Pakistan’s defence invincible. Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan is going to become an Asian Tiger especially in the backdrop of the historic announcement of the Chinese President to invest USD 43 billion in different sectors in Pakistan.
He said this is investment and not a loan and it is for us to capitalise on the opportunity to transform the country. He said that this is the single largest economic package China has ever given to any country of the world. This is confidence that China has in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, they know that he will deliver.
Shahbaz Sharif said that the world class construction of the Metro Bus project is a sort of soft revolution and there is a need to bring about such soft revolutions in every field. He thanked Turkey for its cooperation and assistance in the implementation of the project and said that a Turkish company has the contract to run the buses, which they received through a transparent tendering.
He recommended the Pride of Performance for Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed who worked hard to turn the dream project into a reality. He said he would extend all possible cooperation to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister for the implementation of a similar project in Peshawar.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman Metro Bus Project Hanif Abbasi said that the Metro Bus has become a reality despite propaganda from critics. He thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for provision of modern travelling facility, which has also added to beauty of landscape of the twin cities.
Hanif Abbasi said the government has given a handsome compensation to those whose properties were affected due to construction of the project. He said the Punjab Government has set up a state of the art Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. An Institute of Urology is about to complete besides technical training institutions and eleven stadia. He said a stadium of international standard is also being constructed in Rawalpindi.