Piecemeal approach not feasible: Experts want MBS project deadline-free
LAHORE, Oct 30: Though the provincial government is eager to make the Metro Bus System (MBS) functional at the earliest, those working on the huge project involving various ‘technicalities’ say that giving a deadline for its completion will not be fair.
Officials quoting senior technical experts presently engaged in the project that is being run round the clock say the system can’t be run properly without completion of various necessary tasks to be done with the assistance of foreign experts.
“Normally, such a huge project should take around two-and-a-half years to complete. But the project team has been given hardly less than a year to finish the job. So almost all the experts and the government officials (engaged in the project) have a well-considered opinion that there should be no deadline for completing this project,” a senior official told Dawn on Tuesday requesting anonymity.
He said while hundreds of engineers, supervisors and workers were busy day and night completing various tasks relating to the construction of 27-Km signal-free dedicated corridor for the operation of special articulated buses, other experts were currently working on modalities of installation of automated escalators, intelligent traffic system, security management, e-ticketing, sound system for announcing buses’ departure and arrival, passengers boarding and access, seat management etc.
He said keeping in view the volume and nature of the project work it sounds sensible to keep it deadline-free.
Being a comprehensive, modern and interrelated transport system it could not be launched piecemeal, he added.
To the reports that the provincial chief executive wanted the officials to ensure the system be launched on Dec 15, the official said there was nothing like that.
“Though there is no deadline but the project team wants to get the MBS complete as early as possible,” he said, adding that after the completion of construction work, the bus operations were expected to be launched by December.
About the current MBS development scenario, the official said at present the technical staff had almost completed the construction work of around 11 of the total 27 bus stations. The finishing work was currently under way on these 11 stations from Gajjumata to Kalma Chowk, he added.
He said the government had also hired a Turkish firm to not only operate the MBS initially but also build capacity of local officials from Lahore Transport Company, Punjab Transport Department and other concerned wings, to enable them to operate the system successfully.
He said the hired firm had a vast experience of operating MBS-like networks in Turkey. The government would start receiving shipments of the 18-metre long articulated buses with Swedish technology by mid-November or so as the bus company (Volvo, Sweden) was currently busy manufacturing these vehicles at its plant in China.
He said the on-going work on the MBS was also helping the government in building capacity of various local organizations, both in private and public sector, with regard to accomplishing such modern projects.