Rawalpindi - Despite claims by former MNA Hanif Abbasi and commissioner Rawalpindi, the metro bus service project is lagging behind the schedule and is not expected to be completed by 30th January, the last date given to the contractors.

A survey of the entire project site gives a clear impression to the people that progress of work is somewhat satisfactory between Saddar to Marrir but the package-II in Rawalpindi is nowhere to give a semblance of timely completion between Committee Chowk and Naz Cinema. Package-III, which was ahead of others since the beginning of the project, is now moving at snail’s pace. While the work is very slow apparently due to shortage of manpower. The electronic elevators/escalators imported at a huge cost of tens of millions of rupees have been left under the open sky.

In Islamabad section too, work is very slow. The heavy iron made structure has been installed for the last several months for bus stops and installation of elevators and escalators but the contractors appear to be lacking clear instructions from the consultants.

Work on Faisal Avenue is so slow that the girders have not yet been placed along with the existing bridge, causing immense problems for the commuters.

Instead of facilitating the movement of traffic, the police officers on duty keep standing on roadside and whenever they see any violation, the vehicle drivers are immediately stopped and fined. The government is making advance payment to the contractors but is not imposing fine on them for not meeting the targets. The project was to be completed on 31st December but its completion date was extended till 31st January under the pretext that the machinery and material could not be moved due to sit-ins by PTI and PAT. It is yet to be seen what justification the administrators and the contractors would give for further delay but in the meantime the citizens are suffering.

The people who travel on the routes affected by metro bus project are regularly seen grumbling that it would not be completed before 14th August, when the government would inaugurate it coinciding with the Independence Day celebrations and the contractors would also charge the government on the ground of escalation in construction cost.