The Prime Minister inaugurated the Rawalpindi Islamabad metro bus service yesterday, fulfilling another of his dreams, as revealed by one of his loyal representatives from Rawalpindi to those gathered at the inaugural ceremony. He further chose to let the congregation know that the PM expressed his desire to have such Metros in Pakistan while he was having a ride on the underground London Metro Railway. While disclosing this passion of the PM to provide such services in the country , he naively uttered absolute ignorance of himself and his current leader of the historic circumstances and economic factors which turned London metro into reality. The oldest rapid transit system in the world was launched in 1863, kept expanding and carried 1.23 billion passengers in 2012/13. Those were the days when the sun never set on the British Empire. Heavily indebted, our country which the PM is leading, for the third time, after yet another controversial election, bears the world’s lowest possible performance indicators in economy and social services sectors. Though a nuclear power, it stands entrapped in a war within its own boundaries while the society is struggling against the bigots who are targeting everything resembling sanity. In such grim conditions, is it justifiable to spend such large amounts on services which can be viewed best as luxuries?

The 52 billion Rupees Metro project was reportedly undertaken without any feasibility or environmental impact study; which was produced only as an after-thought. Most of the commuters travel to Islamabad from faraway places like Rawat, Bharakahu and Tarnaul. These commuters have no direct access to the metro stations which are usually provided with feeding lines to facilitate passengers from a wider area. There are no bicycle stands along the metro stations although a majority of the poor people still use this economical and healthy mode of transport. The bus stations with glass all around are going to become ovens in the scorching heat during the summers. The residents of the twin cities rightfully feel that it has devastated the environment and has been built in entire violation of the master plan of the capital city, which was once considered to be one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. The Planning Commission owes an explanation to the public on all such issues while the political leaders need to modify and re-set their priorities; preferring the flow of expenditure to improve the current facilities with a focus to strengthen the law enforcement agencies as the top most priority.