LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Metro Bus Service (MBS) is being completed with a missionary zeal and this project would be inaugurated on February 10. Presiding over a meeting held to review the arrangements for the inaugural ceremony of the project at Model Town Wednesday, the chief minister said this state-of-the-art project would offer free of charge traveling facilities for one month after the inauguration. Shahbaz said the MBS inauguration would be an important event as the project was a milestone in the transport history of the country. He said the Punjab government had taken effective steps to build a new Pakistan. “This project is being completed in a short period of eleven months and an 8-kilometer long flyover has also been constructed which is a great showpiece of architectural art. The development work is continuing on the project day and night,” the CM added. The chief minister said modern system of electronic ticketing had been set up at stations while escalators had been installed for the convenience of elderly citizens and the disabled. He said critics would stop criticising the project, when the people started availing the travelling facilities. Shahbaz said the MBS was not meant only for Lahore but for the whole country. The fare of metro bus would also be within the reach of the common man, he added.  The meeting was attended by MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Pervaiz Malik, Mian Marghoob Ahmed, Bilal Yaseen, Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, LTC Chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, MPA Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Khawaja Imran Nazir, PML-N leaders, secretaries and other concerned officers. Meanwhile, PML-N leaders from Balochistan Sardar Yaqub Khan Nasir and Sardar Sanaullah Zehri called on the chief minister, separately at Model Town Wednesday. Political situation in the country and the matters relating to Balochistan came under discussion during the meetings. The CM said the people of Balochistan would need to be taken into confidence in the process for resolving Balochistan problems and all stakeholders must also be consulted in this regard.He said the Punjab government gave its share of Rs11 billion in 7th NFC Award to Baloch brethren for removing their sense of deprivation.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 31-Jan-2013