According to reports, five multi-storey car-parking plazas are being planned in Islamabad to meet the rising vehicle population in the capital. According to experts like Mr. Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, creation of additional facilities for cars, like bypasses, flyovers and parking plazas, is counterproductive, as it leads to further increase in vehicle population and greater road congestion and allied evils. The ultimate solution, according to the experts, is to provide safe, comfortable and economical high-capacity public transport systems, like efficient larger busses, trams, light rail and underground/elevated rail metro services wherever justified by present and anticipated future travel demand. Islamabad did have a rail connection in I/9 sector since long. This could have been easily extended to the Secretariat and Blue Area, making a loop back to the I/9 station. Till such time our own industries could fabricate electrical system and electrically-operated trains, we could have used it as a primitive rail system like the early London and Paris metros, which used even steam engine trains for many years. Why can't we utilise the old diesel rail cars that are lying discarded somewhere in railway yards, after proper repairs and reconditioning? Surely such a surface rail metro system can be introduced without much cost and will minimise the vehicle population with consequent savings in our increasing import bill for cars and fuel, besides solving the road congestion, environmental pollution and accidents, not only in Islamabad, but also in Lahore, Karachi and other cities as well. -SYEDA MAHWISH FATIMA NAQVI, Karachi, via e-mail, March 3.