PM Shahbaz Sharif inaugurates Islamabad Metro Bus service

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday said the journey of Pakistan’s progress has resumed after a four-year halt and the former premier might be worrying but people’s worry has ended now.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the mass transit bus, the prime minister said being the representative of the coalition government, he would ensure fast implementation of the delayed or suspended projects of public importance.

The Islamabad Metro Bus Service project, which was due to become operational by 2018, faced a massive delay during the PTI government. The PM, in one of his first directives, had ordered to operationalize the project.

The 25.6km bus route will benefit an estimated 50,000 commuters on daily basis.

PM Shahbaz said the project was a gift from the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif to the people of Islamabad aimed at facilitating them through a decent transport service.

He regretted that the route plan of Islamabad was reduced abruptly to cut the cost from Rs16 billion to Rs12 billion, which he said, caused immense loss to the materialization of the project.

He said though the development funds were available to complete the public welfare projects during the tenure of the PTI government, however, the will to serve the masses was lacking.

PM Shahbaz Sharif mentioned that the PML-N government during the previous tenure had launched the mass transit projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan.

He pointed out that the PTI government regrettably took stay orders from the courts to suspend the projects of public importance.

He said the Orange Line mass transit train, which was a gift from China, faced litigation by the PTI that caused its delay by over two years.

He said other than a few technical points regarding the survey of the Orange Line project, no trace of corruption was found by the courts.

Shahbaz Sharif said during the PTI government, the national economy suffered immensely and even the defence expenditure was borne by the debt money.

The prime minister expressed gratitude to China and Turkey for contributing towards the launch of the public transport system in Pakistan.

He termed China a great friend that stood by Pakistan throughout history, adding that the Chinese leadership always supported Pakistan at all international forums.

He mentioned that China greatly contributed towards strengthening Pakistan’s economy and expressed gratitude to President Xi Jinping for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He urged China to also support Pakistan in the launch of the Karachi Circular Railway for the benefit of the people of the metropolitan.

PTI contradicts PM

Reacting to the PM’s remarks that the previous government delayed the project, former federal minister Asad Umar said that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had in March announced the trial run of the metro bus would start in the first week of April.

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