ISLAMABAD - Instead of going for an open bidding, the Capital Development Authority is still operating the green and blue lines metro bus routes through M/s Faisal Movers, which was hired as stopgap arrangements.

M/s Faisal Movers had won a contract to operate the Orange Line Metro Bus Service from Peshawar Morr to New Islamabad International Airport through a competitive process.

However, the contractor was engaged on the rest of the two metro routes started by the city managers on the directions of the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as well but without going into a competitive process.

Sources told that the competent authority has given the approval to run the bus service on two new routes by directly employing M/s Faisal Movers on stopgap arrangement basis because the green and blue line bus services were started on war footings in just two months.  The buses to run on aforementioned routes were procured by CDA from China but their operations were handed over to the aforementioned private company M/s Faisal Movers for a brief period.

“The procurement of an operator for these metro routes will take time and it is the duty of concerned formation to initiate the process soon to ensure transparency and avoid audit objection in future,” a senior officer of the authority told The Nation, adding: “Though, handing over the operation of green and blue lines to M/s Faisal Movers was quite necessary at that time to avoid delay in inauguration of project but now a proper open bidding is essential equally.”

A total of 18 buses are in operation on both routes while 2 buses remain ready

to provide backup

However, when contacted, Project Director Metro Bus Service Qazi Umer confirmed that the city authority has yet to flout a tender to start the process. He explained that the M/s Faisal Movers was engaged on the green and blue line metro project because he was the lowest bidder for the similar nature of work in Orange Line.

When questioned about the delay in the start of tendering process for green and blue lines, he said we have decided to complete all the tendering process in respect of the orange line then we will move towards the green and blue lines.

As per the information available on record, M/s Faisal Movers was given the operations of M/s Orange Line at the rate of Rs139 per kilometre in which it will have to provide drivers and fuel to operate the buses.

Sources informed that M/s Faisal Movers was promised to give the same rate for operating buses on green and blue lines but so far they did not get any payment. A total of 18 buses are in operation on both routes while two buses remain ready to provide backup.

Green Line metro bus service operates between Bhara Kahu to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and Blue Line metro bus services operate from Koral to PIMS.

Meanwhile, these newly inaugurated metro bus services in Islamabad have remained successful as over 20,000 passengers travel daily bases on these routes.