ATHER ALI KHAN - Those interested in observing the realisation of a sweet dream, actualisation of an imagination, completion of wish, formation of a commitment, formulation of an illusion, rising of a spirit, naturalisation of a miracle, defeating an unbeatable and completion of a mission impossible, they must spare some time to watch the historical Metro Bus Service in Lahore. It will make them the eyewitness of a revolutionary process, removing the shadows of the depression over the oppressed via minimising the distances of the progress and hence alleviation of the poverty.
Having an ancient history of over three thousand years, Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan with a population of around 10 million, has remained the focal point of the attention of almost all the rulers and governments, but none of them could ever decide to leave his personal interests and try to focus the projects of the public welfare. Some of them to name here are Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Shahjehan and Aurangzeb who completed some historical projects like the Lahore Fort, Shalamar Garden and Badshahi Mosque having, unfortunately, the least concern over the lives of the people. Whereas CM Shahbaz Sharif`s Metro Bus Service is the project of the restoration of the ego of over 10 million people, benefitting them in quite a unique manner. This is ever first example of its kind in the sub-continent which will open the new horizons of the prosperity and progress for the people as a worth following milestone in the public transport.
The visionary chief minister decided to launch an organised and modern system, having no substitute not only in the country but the whole South Asia, with an aim to provide a dignified, comfortable and safe transport to the millions of citizens who were badly annoyed of overcrowded and expensive transport. This service will smoothly fix the problem and will ensures mobility besides providing easy access to masses, supporting urban life and making the city livable. Though the volume, prolonged period and other hurdles like the noise against the issue is politically-motivated to create misconceptions as were created against Pakistan Movement, Kalabagh Dam and history Motorway Project etc. But it`s the vision and will power which convert such dreams into realities. It`s neither the part of a dream history nor the story of an advanced country like China or Japan, but is the matter of a few months behind when a delegation from the brother country Turkey visited on the invitation of CM Shahbaz, to start the movement of the development and prosperity from the city from where the movement for independent started. Who says that the miracles won’t happen in this age? The MBS has proved that nothing is impossible in this world applying condition of sincerity of the leadership with the cause of serving their people. The Punjab government has taken special care of the transparency and quality both, in this project too, like all of its other initiatives.
Astonishingly the 27km first phase of the landmark project, from Gajjumatta to Shahdra, is going to complete with a minimum cost of around Rs30 billion, an amount 11-time less than the underground project as planned by previous provincial government. The early completion of the first phase within 10 months is going to beat the record of even its mother country Turkey where 42km of Metro System took 3 years to complete.
The feasibility study of the underground, Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System (LRMTS), as suggested by the previous government, estimated the cost of Rs250 billion. Certainly, the current economic situation did not allow for the much-hyped project; therefore, the PML-N government, which believes in optimum use of available resources, selected the MBS which is easy to supervise, maintain and repair when necessary. It must be kept in mind that this project has got a compatible capacity for future expansion n extension when required, in addition to benefit of its durable n strong infrastructure which may be utilized for even Trains in future, if opted so.
Tepa (Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency of Lahore Development Authority) has been granted the responsibility of the completion for the construction work which has divided the project into eight parts, assigned to different contractors, to speed up the task. To ascertain this objective, three shifts are managed for 24 hours workability and the job continued, even during Eid holidays, materializing dream well in time. (continued)
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