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Islamabad

January 16, 2015

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Metro Bus Project to be delayed

Rawalpindi
With only two weeks left in deadline, delay in the completion of Metro Bus Project is very much on the cards as even the staff and officials working with this mega scheme claim that there is no possibility that it will be completed as per schedule on January 30.
Though the chairman of Implementation Sub-Committee of Metro Bus Project, Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, claims that the mega project would be completed by all means before the deadline of January 30. However, reliable sources working with the project are not sure enough about its completion before March.
Talking to this scribe on condition of anonymity a highly placed official dealing with the Metro Bus Project informed that a lot of work has yet to be done on it and the inauguration of the project on January 30 looks difficult and impossible. It would take another two months to finish the project, he claimed.
Giving reasons, the official said that work on Package-2 of the project starting from Committee Chowk is being carried out at a slow pace. Till now, 50 per cent work has been done on this section of the project, he claimed.
Similarly, Metro Bus Project Chief Engineer Saeed Akhtar, when interviewed by this correspondent, did not look confident enough that the project would meet the deadline of January 30. When questioned about the completion period, he indirectly said that the authorities on their behalf are trying their utmost to see the project completed on scheduled time. However, he looked reluctant to give his views whether the project would meet the deadline of January 30 as only two weeks are left now and work on certain portions of the project stills remain incomplete. Besides this, the work on installing of elevators and escalators is yet to begin.
According to Saeed Akhtar and another high official, who requested not be named, the authorities have procured elevators and escalators from foreign company which would be installed when construction work on the project

is fully completed.
An official of the Metro Bus office, while giving his views, didn’t look sure that the deadline on the project would be met. He said the efforts of the authorities which also include the contractors is to complete the elevated expressway on time, enabling them to operate buses on January 30. However, other components like construction of service roads leading from Mall Road to Faizabad Chowk and laying of new drainage and sewerage pipelines would be delayed. In all, the entire project would not meet the deadline, he claimed.
Similarly, Metro Bus Project Director and Commissioner Rawalpindi Captain (r) Zahid Saeed agreed that work on Package-2 is behind schedule against other packages of the project. However, authorities are carrying out work speedily even on Package-2 with the purpose of completing it on schedule. He said that the main portion of project -- elevated expressway -- would be over by January 29 with the objective of operating buses on January 31 after inauguration by the prime minister and Punjab chief minister. However, work on other components like sideline portions, including carpeting of service roads and laying of drainage and sewerage pipelines, would continue even after January 31.
When the views of Hanif Abbasi were sought, he reiterated his previous claims that the project would meet its deadline and inaugurated on January 30 by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. According to him, only little work is left on the project which would be over in a couple of days before the inauguration time. He did not agree at all that only 50% of work has been done till now on Package-2. "Like other packages, work on Package-2 is being carried out round the clock and I see no reason any delay in it," Hanif Abbasi added.

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