Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro: A constant threat

Staff Reporter

The 50 billion Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus service which was hailed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a ‘gift for the masses’ at the time of inauguration has become a major threat to the public of twin cities, the residents of twin cities have dubbed the project as a ‘hazard for the masses’.

The project which was inaugurated in June this year has faced a multitude of problems, from leaking roof, falling blocks and submerged stations the projects reeks of utter incompetence.

Recently a youngster in Rawalpindi lost his life when block of concrete fell from the elevated track. The falling concrete from a newly constructed bridge of a multi-billion project should have been an eye opener for concerned authorities. However Hanif Abbasi, Chairman of Rawalpindi Metro Bus Service casually termed the incident as part of everyday life. The family of the victim had also filed an application at Cantt Police Station nominating the contractor and Metro Bus Authority. The incident is not the first of its kind, prior to this; a rock from the Metro Bridge at Chandni Chowk had fallen on a car.

The hasty construction of the project has resulted in some serious flaws which have been popping up one after the other. Ahmed Saleem a resident of Rawalpindi while talking to the scribe said that since the incident of falling concrete that resulted in death of a motorcyclist he avoids traveling under the bridge as he fears for his life.

Mohsin, a student of a local university told the scribe that since the incident he has changed his route fearing for his life. He added that most of his friends who use motorcycles are now wary of the serious threat posed by the elevated metro track in Rawalpindi.

MNA Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had warned the metro bus authorities in a television program a few backs that water could be seen seeping into the concrete, on the elevated road from Saddar to Faizabad and people are afraid that it could cause a big disaster.

Earlier in July during the Monsoon spell most of the newly constructed metro bus stations, worth millions of rupees, could not withstand the heavy showers and were flooded with rainwater. Water dripping from the ceiling of many metro bus stations is also a common sight. Despite the passage of four-months, the flaw still persists and in addition to the leaking ceilings of the stations, the elevated track in Rawalpindi has also raised many questions as water drips from it after even a drizzle. There are fears that due to the poor construction water seeps into the track which then drips for hours. This alleged flaw can significantly reduce the life of the track and also poses serious threats to the life of commuters using the road below.

Public have demanded authorities to carry out a proper inspection of the elevated track as under current circumstances they fear for their lives traveling under the track. Although the elevated tracks stood firm during the recent earthquake, citizens are now even more critical of the elevated metro track as they fear that the hasty completion of the project has made it a threat to their lives.

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