* CM says provision of comfortable, quality transport facilities to masses top priority of govt.

LAHORE: People will be able to have safe and speedy transport facilities after completion of the Bus Rapid Transit System project, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday.

He said this while presiding over a meeting to review the pace of progress of Bus Rapid Transit System project and the provision of transport facilities to the people.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that provision of comfortable and quality transport facilities to the masses was the top priority of the government, and solid steps had been taken for that purpose. He said that a 27-kilometre-long track from Shahdara to Gajjumata would be laid in the first phase of the project.

He said modern transport service had been started in the metropolis, and its scope would soon be extended to other big cities of the province.

On the occasion, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Abdul Jabbar Shaheen gave a detailed briefing regarding the progress of the project.

Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that on the pattern of developed countries, transport system was being organised on modern lines in Lahore and other big cities of the province.

He said work on the Bus Rapid Transit System project had been started with the cooperation of Turkey, which, upon its completion, would speak volumes of the Pak-Turk friendship.

He said that like other development projects, the Bus Rapid Transit System project would be completed speedily in a transparent manner by working round the clock.

He said that in the first phase, track would be laid from General Hospital to Kalma Chowk; in the second phase, from Gajjumata to General Hospital; and in the third phase, from Shahdara to Kalma Chowk.

He said it was an important project, and no delay in its completion would be tolerated.

On the occasion, he formed a committee, headed by Member of the Provincial Assembly Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, for early completion of the project.

He said that an effective system should be evolved to ensure smooth flow of traffic during the construction of the project and people should not face any difficulty in this regard.

He directed the officials concerned to evolve a vigorous publicity plan to create awareness among the people about the importance of bus rapid transit so that maximum citizens could benefit from it.

Earlier, the LDA director general, while informing the meeting about the progress of the project, said that work on laying of track from General Hospital to Kalma Chowk was in progress. Members of the National Assembly Mian Marghoob Ahmad and Bilal Yasin, Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan, the Planning and Development chairman, the transport secretary, the Lahore district coordination officer and other officers concerned were present at the meeting.