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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Islamabad metro bus project nears completion: NHA

NHA has started the transition of the authority of the metro bus project from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) over to the CDA! The project is nearing completion.

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National Highway Authority (NHA) has started handing over the 25.6-kilometer project to the Capital Development Project (CDA).

The transit project was inaugurated in 2017, under former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif, and was supposed to have been operational by August 2018, however, due to financial delays the project has been unable to be completed on time.

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However, five metro stations were handed over to the CDA on Monday. A few days ago, the NHA also handed over part of the route, from Peshawar Mor to the railway bridge, to the CDA.

In the second phase, the rest of the route and the remaining stations will be handed over to the civic agency. Before the services are opened to the public, the CDA will install ticketing systems and IT systems at the stations.

Previously, the CDA was resistant to accepting the role of running the mass transit service, but upon the directive of the federal government it must take up the task. The cabinet recently told Interior Minister for Pakistan, Mr. Sheikh Rashid to ensure a smooth transition of the authority between two agencies.

Last year, the CDA also got Rs. 1.9 billion proved to buy 30 buses and set up their command-and-control center, and ticketing stations.

CDA said that once they get the full authority over the project after the construction is completed, the agency would request Islamabad Rawalpindi Metro Bus Service to temporarily deploy some of their buses on the route until the civic agency procures their own.

The reason for this is that the buses must be manufactured and due to delay in fund release, that would take some time.

This 16-billion-rupee project has eight bus stations are being built, to link the NIIA to the capital city. The project includes the construction of a dedicated two-lane signal-free corridor. A three-lane carriageway with shoulders on either side of the Metro corridor ranging from the Golra Morr Interchange to the Grand Trunk Road Interchange is also a part of the project to ensure the free flow of traffic.

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As aforementioned, the CDA had been resistant in taking over this project as the agency stated that it is a development agency and operating a bus service is not in its portfolio.

NHA officials say that the metro bus project is nearing completion as only finishing touches remain. They said that slow funds led to delay, but the current management had furthered the work.