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64 new buses to ply in city: CM


The provincial government has added 64 new “environment-friendly” buses to the fleet of Lahore Metro Bus service on Monday. In a ceremony held at the Metro Bus depot on Ferozepur Road, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar formally handed over buses to the Punjab Masstrasit Authority and inspected the facilities after unveiling the plaque.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister said the provincial capital and Lahorites have significant importance while the government was striving hard to resolve their problems on a priority basis. “Underpasses and overhead bridges were being constructed to overcome traffic problems besides improving the transport system,” he continued. This 18-metre long bus will prove the best transport facility and the Lahore Masstransit Authority will provide the best travelling facility to 125,000 passengers daily, he remarked.
“The PTI-led government has saved resources worth more than Rs2 billion in contract with VEDA Transit Solutions (Pvt) Ltd,” he said. “The earlier deal was signed with a foreign company while the current contract is signed with a Pakistani company to save foreign reserves while encouraging local businesses,” he appended. The incumbent government completed and functionalised the Orange Line Metro Train project in the best national interest, he said, adding that its fare is limited to Rs40.
Around Rs6.3 billion subsidy is also being given to this project despite the financial crunch. The CM disclosed that an electric buses project will be started in Lahore to overcome environmental pollution and new environmentally friendly buses will also be introduced in major cities of the province. There was a shortage of passengers in feeder buses but the introduction of the cash fare system has resulted in a hundred per cent and 26% increase in the number of commuters in Lahore and Multan feeder buses, respectively.
Meanwhile, the enforcement of the Punjab Vehicle Inspection and Certification System in 27 districts is important in overcoming road accidents and environmental degradation, the CM said, adding that the scope of such centres will be expanded to the whole of the province. The government has also extended the duration of VICS fitness certificates for six months, he continued. Similarly, an excel load management system will be introduced in nine districts to save roads, he disclosed.
Meanwhile, it was decided to expand the scope of Lahore Transport Company by renaming it as Punjab Transport Company to provide modern transport facilities in Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Mianwali and DG Khan, Buzdar said. A modern bus terminal will be constructed at Thokar Niaz Beg with a cost of Rs3 billion. “The government was committed to introducing a modern mass transit system in major cities to provide the best transport facilities to the general public. Public service is a priority agenda and the government will continue to serve the masses with commitment and zeal,” the CM concluded. Transport Minister Jahazeb Khichi and MD PMA also address the function. Provincial ministers Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Yawar Bukhari, Mohsin Leghari, parliamentarians Sadaqat Abbasi, Karamat Khokhar, Nadeem Bara, chief secretary, secretary transport and others were also present. Earlier, Buzdar chaired a meeting to review the elevated expressway project.
Provincial ministers Mian Aslam Iqbal, Asad Khokhar, DG LDA and others attended the meeting. The CM gave in-principle approval to construct an elevated expressway from Gulberg to Motorway M2. This expressway will cover Canal Bank Road, Jail Road, Ferozepur Road, Multan Road, Bund Road to Babu Sabu and a bus passageway will also be constructed alongside.

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