The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is gearing up to launch the much needed public transport system in the federal capital, which the Authority believes will take off a great amount of load of traffic off the roads while providing quality transportation to the commuters in Islamabad.
CDA chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi while talking to the reporters said that since Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani issued directions to launch this Rs300 million Rapid Transport System in the federal capital, the Authority has been working on it to make it operational as soon as possible to facilitate general public.
On one hand the services of the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) have been acquired to conduct a real-time survey of the traffic flow and the commuting pattern from Faizabad and other destinations towards the Pakistan Secretariat, which is generally considered as the terminating point for most of the public transport.
They are also working on creating a Special Corridors for plying these buses to-and-fro for the fleet of these special buses that would be launched as Prime Minister s Islamabad Rapid Transport System. As soon as the ITP will submit its recommendations, that we are expecting them to submit some time next month (September), we will be able initiate physical work on the project, CDA chairman said.
Meanwhile, he added, the CDA is going to call tenders for supplying special buses that would be part of this fleet of 35 vehicles in the first phase. These CNG-fitted buses have to be especially built as those will be lower in height and special emphasis is paid that these should be easy for boarding and disembarking for the special people, senior citizens, women and children.
He also said that the issue of providing CNG for these buses has already been discussed and approved with the Ministry of Petroleum. We have planned to establish at least two high pressure dispensing units in the beginning at suitable locations. One is most likely to be in Sector I-8, close to Faizabad, which would be the starting point of this Rapid Transport System too. We have received the guarantee from the Ministry of Petroleum for uninterrupted supply of CNG at these stations for running this Rapid Transport System smoothly, the CDA chairman said.
He said that these buses would be moving in the specified directions after every 5 minutes and their arrival/departure timings at each bus stop would be clearly displayed. He also said that the fares for this Rapid Transport System would be competitive with the private sector whereas it would provide far better quality of service through these air-conditioned buses.
Answering a question regarding the flood-like situation following the August 8 cloud burst in the Islamabad and the surrounding areas, the CDA chairman said that it was an unusual weather system which caught everybody by surprise.
We have to understand that the average rainfall of this region, including the federal capital Islamabad is around 1,100mm per annum. Out of which the monsoon rainfall for the month of July-August alone is account for as around 600mm. But on that particular day, August 8, it rained 176mm, mainly on the Margalla Hills which triggered a situation no less than hill torrents gushing down from the Margallas down to the federal capital. The drainage system laid in the city was designed in accordance with the normal rainfall situation but this cloudburst of August 8 was not a usual phenomenon.
Talking about the monsoon tree plantation campaign and the preparations for the autumn beautification campaign of the federal capital, the CDA chairman said that it is already underway and the citizens of the federal capital as well as the visitors will find far better and bigger areas brought under autumnal flowering plants and shrubs this season.
He said that the Environment Wing of the CDA was already engaged in its monsoon tree plantation campaign under which it has to sow around 500,000 plants and saplings this season. The country-wide monsoon tree plantation campaign will be formally launched when President Asif Ali Zardari will inaugurate it officially, but the CDA s Environment Wing has already started the preparations for it, the chairman said.
The Chairman also briefly touched upon the subject of launching another housing project in Zone-IV, again in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, for the middle and low-income groups. This project will for the middle and low-income groups of the society but I assure you that there will be no compromise on the facilities and quality of living in this project as we have offered in the Park Enclave , Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said.
About the corruption cases pointed out and being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the CDA, the chairman said that the timely action by the CDA has already prevented any actual damage or loss in case of Kurri Model Village allotment scam as well as the Agro Farm number allotment case.
However, he conceded, some officials have been detained by the FIA in these cases and investigations are going on.