45 MBS vehicles to arrive soon
LAHORE: Two ships carrying 45 articulated buses for the Metro Bus Service (MBS) route are likely to arrive from China at the Karachi seaport in a few days, officials related to the development told Dawn on Monday.
The buses will ply on a 27 kilomtere corridor being constructed from Gajjumatta to Shahdara.
According to officials, buses have been dispatched by the manufacturing company, Volvo China, to Pakistan. The fleet costs over Rs1.260 billion whereas each bus is Rs28 million. As soon as the ships dock at Karachi seaport, a technical team of the Punjab government would go there to deal with unloading, and custom clearance issues.
The fleet will be transported to Lahore from the port through trawlers, Lahore Development Authority Director General Ahad Cheema told Dawn. Each bus is 18 metre long and is right hand drive.
“Every bus has 50 to 60 seats with separate compartments for women and men, and can accommodate 150 passengers in all at a time,” he said.
The metro route will have 27 stations, of that 18 are near completion. The work on the remaining nine stations was being carried out on a fast track and would be completed in a fortnight, he said.
The corridor includes an 8km overhead bridge from Muslim Town Mor to Texali. Mr Cheema said some of the overhead’s portions were still under various phases such as piling, shuttering and concrete and earth filling, adding that the bridge would be completed by mid December.
Mr Cheema said though there was no deadline to launch buses on the MBS, the LDA would be able to know about the tentative dates in the next 15 days.
He said the ongoing construction of Kalma Chowk underpass would not cause a delay in the MBS completion.
“Actually the underpass is not a part of the MBS, and the construction of the route is going on at this particular portion,” he said.
The Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency has been tasked with constructing the Kalma Chowk underpass in two months.