Islamabad - The federal capital on Thursday witnessed tight security due to arrival of high-profile government functionaries, including the prime minister in the city on the occasion of inauguration of much-awaited mega project of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service.
Though the inauguration ceremony was held at the Jinnah Convention Centre here in the afternoon, yet security was beefed up in the whole city to avert any kind of untoward incident. Special security arrangements were made on the occasion of inauguration coinciding with the joint sitting of the parliament with hundreds of police personnel taking positions along the metro route and around the Red Zone. Metro route passing through Blue Area was especially condoned off for the general public after the intelligence agencies cleared the area of all kind of potential threat. Even the press photographers and cameramen were not allowed to get on top of the adjacent roofs to capture shots due to security reasons.
Those present in the city on the occasion of inauguration and joint sitting of the parliament included members of the federal cabinet, Governor Punjab Rafique Rajwana, Governor KP Sardar Mehtab , Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak, Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik and other members of the parliament. On the other hand, general public especially the road users faced problems due to traffic diversions at several points in the city. Roads leading to convention centre and Blue Area were closed that caused problems for the general public. Traffic jam was witnessed throughout the day at Faizabad intersection. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the bus service to provide hassle free, comfortable and economical travelling facility to the residents of the twin cities. According to estimates, around one hundred and fifty thousand commuters will benefit from this service daily. A dedicated signal-free track of twenty-three kilometer has been constructed between Islamabad Secretariat to Saddar Rawalpindi with twenty-four stations equipped with modern facilities to facilitate the commuters. There are 24 state-of-the-art bus stations on the route of the MBS — ten in Rawalpindi and fourteen in the federal capital. In all, 68 buses have started operating on the route as of today and each bus has a capacity of 150 passengers.