LAHORE – Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that an amount of Rs 30billion has been spent on the Metro Bus project, but some people have exaggerated its cost to mislead the masses.
“Had this project been started by (President Asif Ali) Zardari or his cronies, it would not have been completed even at the cost of Rs100 billion,” he said while addressing a meeting at Model Town Saturday. He said 45 buses would be plied on the route of metro bus project for which modern air-conditioned buses have arrived in Lahore.
The chief minister said the bust service would operate from 6am to 10.30pm without any interruption. He said he would launched the same in Rawalpindi if the masses voted him to power in the upcoming general elections He stressed that such projects would also be launched in Karachi to cope with traffic troubles in the commercial hub of the country.
“Zardari wasted five years and committed corruption, but no travelling facilities have been made available to the common people. He said all development projects of the Punjab government, including metro bus project, are transparent and quality-oriented.
He said the metro bus project was not only for Lahore, but also for the whole Pakistan. The project, being completed in a record time with a missionary zeal, will be inaugurated on February 10. He said free-of-cost metro buses would be plied for four weeks after the inauguration of the project.
Separately, addressing a function held to provide buses to the government colleges, the CM said that provision of buses to the colleges at a cost of Rs two billion for facilitating the builders of the nation is a gift of Punjab government for them.
He gave away keys of as 100 buses to the heads of educational institutions.
The government will make available resources required to equip the young generation with modern knowledge and provide them educational facilities. He said that it is the responsibility of the principals of the colleges to make proper arrangements for the maintenance of these buses.
The CM was addressing a function held with regard to provision of buses to the government colleges, at Model Town, here Saturday. The Chief Minister gave away keys of as many as 100 buses to the heads of educational institutions. 
Shahbaz Sharif said that he was much satisfied that the Punjab government has crossed an important milestone of providing buses for the convenience of male and female students of the colleges. He said that 100 air-conditioned buses imported from China have been provided to the colleges and the next government will complete this public project. The Chief Minister said that the ratio of 90 / 10 has been fixed for the provision of buses so that the daughters of the nation should not face any difficulty in reaching their educational institutions. He said that Ujala Programme would not only eliminate darkness from Pakistan but the homes of the male and female students will also be brightened from it. He said that due to wrong policies of the rulers, the country has been pushed into darkness. He said that educational institutions, hospitals, offices and industries are facing darkness and there was unemployment and poverty everywhere. He said that in such a situation, Ujala Programme of Punjab government is a ray of hope. He said that solid steps have been taken for elimination of corruption in the province which has yielded positive results. However, there is corruption at operational and low level for which there is a need of surgical operation, he added.
The CM said that this splendid project of public welfare, metro bus service was being inaugurated on February 10 which would bring a revolution in transport sector. He said that during the last 65 years, national and personal resources had been utilized for providing transport facilities to the elite but the common man was ignored.
He said that this project is not only for Lahore but the people of the entire country would benefit from it and added that such projects should also be executed in the other big cities of Pakistan including Karachi.
He said that due to this splendid metro bus project would rid the citizens of traffic jam and inconvenience of waiting the buses for hours. He said that only those people were raising hue and cry over this project of the poor man who travel through air and bullet-proof vehicles. He said that such elements have no sympathy with the poor. He said that metro bus system is an important step towards Islamic welfare state as envisioned by Quaid and Iqbal and would revive the ideals of the founders of Pakistan.
 Earlier, Secretary Higher Education Dr. Ijaz Munir while highlighting the educational activities of the Higher Education Department informed that 81 buses were also provided to the educational institutions last year and 100 buses have been given to the colleges this year.