The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Thursday took up the issue of establishing a comprehensive and reliable mass transit system, one of the most irksome issues confronting people of the twin cities.

In order to review the feasibility of ‘Rapid Mass Transit System’ for the twin cities, a CDA Chairman Tariq Mahmood Khan chaired a meeting. A Swedish firm M/s Rejlers along with its local partners M/s NESPAK and Ms/ Cosmic Holdings will be involved in the project.

Director (Traffic Engineering) Azam Khan Lodhi while briefing the meeting about the project said that an international tender was floated in the international media in response to which five firms have submitted their bids for establishing a rapid mass transit system of international standard.

“M/s Rejlers, a firm from Sweden, submitted the lowest financial bid in addition to its technical expertise and experience, has been selected out of the five bidders for the project after detailed scrutiny,” he said.

He said that the basic points of the feasibility have been met and now the CDA and M/s Rejlers are expected to reach an agreement within next few days adding the PC-II of the project has been approved but it would take at least another eight months to complete the feasibility study of the project.

“M/s Rejlers and its local partners will now come up with the detailed feasibility study of the project in which they will see how to manoeuvre, especially in Rawalpindi. For the Rawalpindi part it would be somewhat tricky because there is hardly enough space in shape of ‘right of way’ available to lay a ‘surface rapid mass transit system’ while in Islamabad we have plenty of space for laying a surface system,” Azam Lodhi told ‘The News.’

“But it would be up to the contractors and they will see how they will go about this project of great importance with a futuristic approach. They will prepare the plan, both for Rawalpindi and Islamabad, keeping in view the future requirements of the residents of the twin cities. Once that feasibility would be submitted then the CDA will thrash that and take a final decision for approval following which the work will start on the project,” he said.

The CDA chairman said that the project of ‘Rapid Mass Transit System’ is of great importance, which must be initiated early. He directed the concerned department to remove all hurdles coming in the way of the project.

“The citizens of the twin cities desperately need facility of international standard. However, in the meantime, alternative means should be adopted to overcome the problems being faced by people commuting between the twin cities on daily basis,” he said.

He also directed the Planning Wing to plan and demarcate places for the transport stations and asked that detailed recommendations on financial and administrative affairs of such projects should be submitted to the CDA Board for approval.

“Applications for running an effective bus service in the twin cities before the completion of ‘Rapid Mass Transit System’ should be invited and if necessary this could be managed on public partnership. The authority may also take steps to hold the administrative control of such a bus service,” the CDA chairman told the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Member Planning and Design, Syed Tanvir Bukhari, Consultant Engineer Ltieutenant Colonel ® Arshad Naseem and other officers of the concerned departments.

Source: The News