Islamabad - After giving a series of deadlines for completion and then inauguration of Metro Bus Service (MBS) project, finally Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would formally inaugurate the multi-billion rupee project today (Thursday), which has linked the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad with state-of-the-art exclusive track for the bus service.

The project would greatly benefit the residents of twin cities who have to undergo troublesome travelling between the twin cities in the absence of adequate transport facility, a former MNA of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Shakeel Awan said. He added that Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif believed in service to the people and the project would win the hearts of people, as right from senior citizens to daily wage workers and civil servants would benefit from the bus service.

Putting the blame of delay in the project to the last year agitation and sit-in of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, he said that even then the project was completed in record time which would completely resolve the issue of public transport in twin cities.

Earlier Prime Minister Sharif was to inaugurate the project on June 2 but due to his pressing engagements it was delayed for a day and now he would inaugurate the state-of-the-art bus service providing cheap, efficient and luxurious public transport facilities to the people shuttling between the twin cities at quite cheap and affordable rates.

An official associated with the project said that it was really a unique project of its kind as almost half of its track from Rawalpindi Saddar up to Faizabad was elevated while in Islamabad the track up to Pak Secretariat runs along various roads with exclusive track for the transport.

The residents of twin cities, particularly those living in Rawalpindi and are having jobs or businesses in Islamabad, are anxiously waiting for the opening of the Metro Bus Service as they had been facing a lot of hardships during the execution of the project for the past one year, a resident of Committee Chowk said while giving his reflection on the project.

However, the critics of the project said that government had wasted huge amount on the project and it would be of little use to the commuters except during the rush hours in the morning when people move from Rawalpindi to Islamabad either who have jobs or businesses over there while the same rush would be when these people would return back to their homes in the afternoon.

While for rest of the period the bus service would be of little significance for the people due to minimal movement between the twin cities.

They further raised eyebrow over the hefty subsidy of Rs 1 billion annually which would be paid from the public exchequer to the disadvantage of public at large, majority of whom already struggling to avoid slipping down the poverty line.  

The track of the metro bus service starts from Flashman’s Hotel Chowk on Murree Road and ends at Pak Secretariat, covering a total distance of about 23 kilometres. As its route passes nearby many academic institutions and government offices as well as private businesses are established along the route in twin cities, it would greatly benefit them in reaching their work places with ease and comfort without any wastage of time.

In order to ensure better accessibility for the residents of the twin cities, 24 metro bus stations have been established along the 23-kilometre route. Out of these, ten are in Rawalpindi while the remaining 14 are in Islamabad. The one way fare of the bus would be Rs 20, much less than the other private public transport services plying on various routes between Rawalpindi and Islamabad.