LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Metro Bus Service (MBS) is in the final stages of completion and modern and comfortable buses will soon be operational.

Talking to citizens during his visit to various sections of MBS, on Sunday, the chief minister said this project of public service was being completed by the Punjab government with its own resources.

He said metro bus project was being executed within a record period of eleven months whereas it took two and a half years for the completion of this project in Turkey. He said the project would bring about revolutionary changes in transport sector.

He reviewed the pace of construction work and issued on the spot instructions to the concerned authorities. Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan, Managing Director Punjab Metro Bus Authority Sibtain Fazal Haleem, Director General LDA Ahad Khan Cheema and other concerned officials were present on the occasion. DG LDA gave a briefing to the Chief Minister regarding progress on various sections.

The chief minister said the project had been launched successfully on experimental basis and the way the people had appreciated it had given him confidence that when metro buses became operational on regular basis elite would also be proud to travel on metro buses along with the common man.

He said the MBS was a historic achievement of the Punjab government and would lead to safe, comfortable, speedy and economical transport facilities to the masses. He said despite severe cold, work was in progress on the project round the clock and he was sure that this splendid project would rid the people of transport problems.

Shahbaz said the first consignment of metro buses had reached the City while the remaining buses would soon arrive. He said excellent arrangements had been made at bus stations for the convenience of passengers while the entire system was being linked with the electronic system. Similarly, he said, control rooms were being established at all stations.

The chief minister further said that with the launching of metro bus service, the citizens would be able to reach their destination within shortest possible time and in a comfortable manner.

He inspected construction work of the project from Gajjumata to Azadi Chowk and directed concerned authorities to complete the installation of escalators expeditiously while the work on provision of facilities at the stations should be completed within the fixed period.

The chief minister also visited the bus depot being constructed for metro buses and also inspected the buses stationed there. The Chief Minister directed that all necessary facilities should be made available at the bus depot. He also inspected the newly-constructed bridge along Lahore Bridge.

He visited Kalma Chowk underpass project and took a briefing regarding the pace of work. He directed authorities concerned that the completion of Kalma Chowk underpass project within stipulated period should be ensured at any cost and Lesco authorities should be contacted for the immediate shifting of electric poles and wires.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif congratulated Pakistani Cricket Team on winning first one-day cricket match played at Chinnai, India. In his message, the chief minister said players of Pakistani Cricket Team had won the hearts of the nation by defeating India in the field of cricket.

He said that Pakistani Cricket Team has given a gift of victory to the nation at the end of year 2012 and expressed the hope that 2013 will also be the year of success of Pakistani team. He said that the entire nation is praying for the success of Pakistani Cricket Team and hoped that Pakistani team will return to the country by winning one-day and test matches.

Meanwhile, the chief minister condemned the blast in a bus in Mastung (Balochistan) and expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives. He prayed for the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.