LAHORE The plan to bring 50 buses from China to Lahore during the month of July has been delayed. On the other hand, the Lahore Transport Company has promised to facilitate the Citys commuters 'soon with a fresh fleet of 300 buses, TheNation has learnt on good authority. The city with some nine million residents, Lahore has presently not more than 180 buses to cater its commuters on the 58 routes. But the eastern cultural hub needs at least 2,500 passenger carriers, it may be noted. The LTC, working under the guidance of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and its new, energetic chairman Mr Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, had a few months ago signed various agreements with Chinese firms to import their buses into Lahore. As per one of these agreements, 50 buses were to reach the City in July. But an LTC official told this scriber on Wednesday that the buses are not reaching in July. The reason for the delay, according to the official, was imposition of General Sales Tax by the Federal government on purchase of new buses. Islamabad, it may be noted, has increased the cost of a single bus by almost Rs1 million by imposing the GST. The official said the Federal government was likely to withdraw the GST. Negotiations are underway in this regard. As per official the LTC would also receive [apart from the 'stranded ones] a fleet of 61 buses by September this year. Besides the firm which had pledged the initial buses, another Chinese company also struck an agreement with the LTC to manufacture 100 buses for Lahore. However, a separate statement by the LTC, issued here on Wednesday, avoided giving date about the arrival of these buses. Instead, it only stated that the project of 2,000 new buses was being implemented vigorously and that 300 buses will soon be made available for Lahore. Meanwhile, Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassan told a Board Meeting held at the CM Secretariat on Wednesday that the LTC would install trackers under the Fleet Management System in all the new buses in order to monitor their movement and transparent distribution of operational subsidy. Electronic ticketing will be installed in public service transport under a phased programme, he further told the meeting. Mr Hassan was also stated to have told the participants that a project for airconditioned coaches, to ply between Defense and the Civil Secretariat, had proved to be a success. Vice-Chairman Mehr Ishtiaq, Board Director Moshan Latif, DCO Ahad Cheema, LDA DG, LTC Chief Executive J.I. Kim, some General Managers and other officers attended the meeting. GM Planning & Infrastructure Ozair Shah briefed it on the provision of transport-related infrastructure in the City. Ahmed Hassan said that multinational companies were taking keen interest in Urban Transport System of Lahore. He said that Lahore Transport Company plans to run 2,000 buses in the City, it was also emerged. Local and foreign investors are showing a keen interest in executing this plan. Formalities are being fulfilled in order to implement the plan expeditiously. The LTC chairman was also stated to have told the meeting that the government wanted to strengthen and encourage private transport companies in order to reform the urban transport sector for the provision of affordable and standardized the transport facilities to the public. He directed the Enforcement Wing of the LTC to take concrete measures against encroachment on bus-stops and illegal transport in the City. A Pilot Project of infrastructure provision was being implemented in Lahore, he told them, adding that under this project, modern bus shelters will also be constructed in the City. Drinking water will also be made available for the passengers and electronic ticketing booths will be constructed in these bus shelters. It will be ensured that passengers get information about buses while sitting in these shelters.