Special branch to monitor progress on metro bus project

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RAWALPINDI: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has directed the special branch to monitor the pace of work on the metro bus project so that it can be completed before the stipulated time of 10 months to resolve the traffic problems in the city. The construction of the metro bus track in the city started on March 18; however, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally launched the project on March 23. The provincial government has set the deadline of January 2015 for the completion of the project. With the start of the construction of an elevated road for the metro bus on the busy Murree Road, the city has started experiencing more traffic gridlocks due to poor traffic management.

Security sources told DNA that in line with the chief minister’s directives, the special branch field staff had started monitoring the pace of the construction work and problems being faced by the commuters.

The special branch has also been directed to submit reports on a weekly basis as the chief minister wanted to get the project completed within the schedule time.

“Yes, the special branch has been directed to monitor the pace of the construction work on the metro bus project as the government wanted to get it completed before the deadline of January 2015,” a senior official of the special branch said.

He added that the field staff would also monitor the working of the traffic police and problems being faced by the commuters.

It may be mentioned that Inspector General of Police Punjab Khan Baig had already taken notice of the poor working of the city traffic police during the construction work.

The IGP had directed Regional Police Officer Rawalpindi Umar Akhtar Hayat Laleka to redress the problems of the commuters and submit a report to him.

The Punjab government had also asked the Rawalpindi administration to repair the alternative routes designated to facilitate the traffic during the construction of the metro bus track. However, no steps have so far been taken by the local administration in this regard.

The lack of safety measures taken by the authorities concerned at the construction site has also been a concern for the commuters. Besides, none of the construction workers or engineers at the site has been provided with emergency lights to guide the commuters at night.

Clouds of dust can be seen billowing from the constriction site, causing breathing problems among the pedestrians and the commuters.

A security source said it had been decided in meetings that the movement of construction machines and workers would take place only inside the iron sheets erected on the Murree Road. Only one lane of the busy artery has been specified for the traffic during the construction work on the metro bus project.