MULTAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday inaugurated the Metro bus service project in Multan completed at a cost of nearly Rs29 billion
Addressing the inaugural ceremony Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government will continue to execute development projects for the welfare of masses despite the sit-ins and lockdown by the opposition in the last three and a half years. .
Nawaz Sharif said the politics of Pakistan stands changed today and only those parties filled with the spirit of serving the nation will survive in the political arena.
The Prime Minister regretted that some elements want to create obstacles in the way of progress and development.
He said that power outages have been reduced significantly and about ten thousand megawatt of additional power will be added to the system this year. He said power outages will be eliminated next year and people would have cheap electricity.
Nawaz Sharif said expanding the network of metro bus will provide modern transport facilities to the commuters. He said some parties made big slogans of carving out Naya Pakistan but modern transport facilities are not available in the province governed by them. He said if anyone wants to see new Pakistan, he should come to Multan and assured that it will be made a beautiful city.
The Prime Minister said six lane motorway project will be available between Peshawar and Karachi as work is going on speedily on different sections. He said the Hyderabad-Karachi six land motorway will be completed by the end of this year. He said a chain of roads is being built in Balochistan and express ways and motorways between Kashgir and Gwadar will change the shape of Balochistan. Gwadar Port will be important project that will bring the people of the province at par with other provinces.
Nawaz Sharif said the Multan Metro bus project has been completed in the minimum time possible and work would start soon on the second phase of the project. He lauded Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for ensuring completion of the project in one and a half years.
He said contrary to the suggestions of many, the government decided to set the Multan Metro bus fare at Rs20, because the same is charged in Lahore and Islamabad.
The premier re-iterated that the project will greatly benefit the underprivileged of Multan, saying “I don’t understand how they travelled” before.
He said he wished the MNA from Multan (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) would have attended the function to see for himself the facility extended to the people.
The premier earlier took a ceremonial ride on one of the buses to formally kick off the service, which will initially operate 35 buses.
Earlier Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif came hard on the opposition who are leveling baseless allegations of corruption. He said Rs 4.5 billion have been spent on acquisition of land. He said if a penny of corruption is proved against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he (Shahbaz) was ready to take responsibility.
He however referred to the corruption of the past rulers including $ 60 million Swiss banks waiting for Pakistani people to receive; the SC verdict on the Nandipur power project and rental power scams. He said those who got loans of billions remitted are talking of accountability.
With this project, Multan, a city of 5 million people, becomes third large city in Pakistan to have mass-transit BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system after Lahore and Rawalpindi-Islamabad.
Each bus can carry 190 passengers. A private company will run the bus service for the time being. Nearly 95,000 commuters are likely to use Multan Metro bus service everyday.
The Multan Metro route is 18.5km long, with 12.5km elevated section. It has 21 bus stations, with 14 stations at elevated and seven stations at ground level. The bus stations have been constructed with Multan’s extreme hot and cold weather in mind.
The function was attended by Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and other high-ranking officials accompanied the PM at the project’s inauguration ceremony, which was held at Bahauddin Zakariya University.