No metro bus fare for 4 weeks: CM

CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif paid a visit to Metro Bus Service Project early in the morning on Sunday and reviewed the pace of construction work.

He said completion of the bus service would result in modern, affordable and rapid transport facilities. He said the bus service would soon be opened to the public and its fare would be within the reach of the common man, adding that the service would be completely free for the people during its first four weeks and no fare would be charged. He said the modern service would revolutionise transport system and give a new identity to Lahore. Shahbaz said that he realised that due to construction work, people were facing problems and difficulties but they were temporary and would give way to permanent relief.

While reviewing construction work at different sections of the project, the CM directed the authorities to ensure expeditious implementation of the project. He said the pace of work could be accelerated through better coordination between the departments concerned, adding that there should be no delay in execution of the public welfare project. He issued directions for making arrangements for the continuation of the work on the project even during Eidul Azha holidays, saying that no compromise would be made on the quality of work.

He further directed authorities to utilise all the available resources for the speedy completion of the project and that the work should continue round the clock. Shahbaz Sharif directed the LDA DG to consider the project of making Qurtaba Chowk interchange signal-free from every aspect and submit a report to him in this regard within 24 hours. He also visited bus depot being constructed for metro bus service. MPA Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed, and other officers accompanied the CM. LDA director general Ahad Cheema DG LDA gave a detailed briefing to Chief Minister regarding the project. When the CM reached Gajju Matta, a large number of people gathered around him and expressed their joy at his sight. He mingled with the people freely and asked them about the project. The lauded the project for provision of transport facilities to them.

They said that although they were facing difficulties temporarily yet Metro Bus Project would be greatly beneficial for them in future. On this occasion, people raised slogans in favour of the chief minister On the demand of the people, Shahbaz directed the Lahore Division commissioner and LDA DG to identify land for graveyard. On the complaint of a man, whose plot was demolished due to the project, Shahbaz ordered the authorities to pay him compensation within 24 hours.

hostel: Shahbaz Sharif has announced setting up a hostel for poets, writers and intellectuals in the provincial metropolis.

He made the announcement during a meeting with writers, intellectuals and poets from different provinces at Model Town here on Sunday.

Shahbaz said writers and poets coming from other provinces would be able to stay at the hostel which would help promote dialogue between the intellectuals of different provinces and bring them closer. He said that all necessary facilities would be provided to the writers at the hostel. Writers, poets and intellectuals thanked the CM for setting up of hostel for them. Journalist Ghazi Salahuddin said Shahbaz had a realistic thinking. Salim Safi said that the role of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif was vital in the elimination of extremism.


Metro Bus Service will be free for four weeks: CM

* Shahbaz Sharif reviews progress on bus project

* Says bus fare will be within reach of common man

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday Metro Bus Service (MBS) would be free for people during the first four weeks of its opening.

The chief minister visited the site of MBS project and reviewed the pace of construction work.

Calling MBS a “splendid” project in the transport history of Pakistan, he said completion of the project would result in modern, affordable and rapid transport facilities in Punjab.

He said the project would soon be opened to the general public and the fare of service would be within the reach of common man.

The chief minister said that construction work on the project should be continued round the clock as “there is no room for delay in its completion”.

Separately, speaking to intellectuals, writers, poets and columnists from all the four provinces, the chief minister said Balochistan issue is “very complex” and there is need to redress grievances of the Baloch.

“The murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti during Musharraf era was a great disservice to the people of Balochistan,” he said.

He said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has always expressed solidarity with the Baloch.

According to the chief minister, the prevailing situation in the country is “critical” and Pakistan’s image is being tarnished. He said that despite being a nuclear power, Pakistani rulers are running around the world with a begging bowl.

“Federal rulers have set new records of corruption and ruined the country,” he said, adding, “Extremism, corruption and load shedding are the major issues facing the country.”

Shahbaz said that there is need to adopt a “national thinking” on national issues. He said that if decisions were not made in the national interest at this stage, there would be “nothing left but sorrow and remorse”. Continue reading

Metro Bus: New service will change Lahore’s identity says CM


The Metro Bus Service will change the city’s identity by revolutionising the public transport sector, said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during an inspection of the MBS construction site on Sunday.

The chief minister said that the fare for the MBS would be cheap and indeed free for the first four weeks.

He said that people would stop using their cars as much and instead travel on the MBS because it would convenient and quick. He said that he realised that the construction work was an inconvenience, but added that it was temporary and once finished of huge benefit.

Reviewing the construction work at various sections, Sharif directed officials to finish it quickly, but at the same time to make sure that there was no compromise on quality. He said that the work could be speeded up if the departments concerned improved coordination. He also visited an under-construction bus depot and told officials to work on it around the clock so it was completed quickly.

The chief minister was accompanied on the tour by MPA Mehr Ishtiaq and Lahore Development Authority Director General Ahad Cheema. Sharif directed Cheema to consider the possibility of making Qurtaba Chowk signal free and to submit a report to him on the subject in 24 hours. He also directed officials to make arrangements for the construction work to continue during the Eidul Azha holidays. Continue reading

ICCI urges CDA to address issues of industrial areas


ISLAMABAD – A delegation of Kahuta Triangle Industrial Association, led by its president Ajaz Ibrahim Memon, called on the new office-bearers of ICCI to congratulate them and apprise them of Industrial Estate’s issues.

Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce& Industry, said that industrialists are playing acrucial role in economy by producing goods and providing hundreds of jobs, but lack of attention by CDA in addressing their problems is a major hurdle in promoting industrial activities.

He said that CDA should address all problems of industrialists on priority including urgent supply of water, arranging proper drainage system, repairing street roads & lights and making dual the main Kahuta road. He said CDA has an important role in facilitating the growth of business activities and it should urgently resolve the problems of industrialists to facilitate them in their efforts for promoting country’s trade and exports.

Bakhtawari told the delegation that the new Chairman CDA Syed Tahir Shahbaz was a sincere & dedicated officer who was willing to contribute in facilitating the industrial & civic life in Islamabad and assured that during his tenure, majority of the issues of traders and industrialists would be resolved. The delegation members highlighted their issues and informed that the dilapidated condition of Kahuta road, lack of water supply & drainage system as well as repair of street roads and signs was needed urgent attention of CDA. Continue reading

Rs1 billion approved for cash-starved CDA


Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has approved the immediate release of Rs1 billion to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) providing interim relief to the money-starved civic body.

The official sources told ‘The News’ that CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz, through Federal Cabinet Secretary Nargis Faiz Sethi, got the amount approved for the civic body.

The government had recently committed an amount of Rs1 billion for the CDA in return for a plot in the Diplomatic Enclave. The plot was gifted to the Saudi Embassy as a goodwill gesture and no payment was received from the friendly country. However, it was decided at a high-level that the CDA would be paid Rs1 billion against the plot by the Pakistan government.

“The amount approved by the prime minister will be transferred into the CDA’s account in a few days enabling it to pay salaries, along with Eid allowance, prior to Eidul Azha,” an official source said.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Nargis Faiz Sethi, who at present also holds additional charge of the water and power secretary, helped the CDA out in restoration of electricity connections of its offices and sewage treatment plant, which were disconnected for non-payment of bills over a month back. During this period, a big amount was spent on diesel to operate generators.

The CDA sources said that the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) restored electricity connections of DA offices about three days back on the intervention of the ministry’s top official.

The civic body, however, paid around Rs15 million to the Iesco out of over Rs1.5 billion outstanding dues against the CDA as being claimed by the Iesco. “We are negotiating with the Iesco to reconcile the actual amount of dues,” an official of CDA said.

CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz confirmed to this scribe that the prime minister had approved Rs1 billion for the civic body. “We are thankful to the prime minister for the timely approval of the much required money,” he said.

He said the new management would work out plans for sustainable income generation to meet routine expenses and continue executing development projects.


Land fraud case Bahria Town files review plea

RAWALPINDI, Oct 13: The management of Bahria Town on Saturday filed a review petition with Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench challenging its observations in validating the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE)’s inquiry into a land fraud case in which property tycoon Malik Riaz and his son were implicated.

A division bench on September 20, while deciding the ACE petition regarding transfer of the 1,401 kanal land fraud case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had validated the inquiry report.

The petition filed by Col (retired) Saeed Akhtar, Bahria Town’s general manager, and Mohammad Iqbal, another official, through Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan cited the ACE Punjab, the National Accountability Bureau and others as respondents.

The petition said the division bench of Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Maqbood Ahmed Bajwa in its judgment had passed some observations on even those matters which were not pending before the court.

Challenging the bench’s remark that the ACE reinvestigated the matter after receiving instructions from the Supreme Court, the petition contended that the apex court had never issued any directive to investigate any aspect or reinvestigate the matter as a whole. “It was rather the director general ACE who sought time saying he was himself looking into the case and then constituted a four-member team to probe the scam.”About the court’s observation that the Bahria Town management was the beneficiary of the mutations, the petition said the ACE had itself admitted that there was no loss occurred to any landowner and that it was not even a case of any ‘loss’ rather ‘a case of forgery’ only. Therefore, there could be no beneficiary in the scam. It added that the Bahria Town management was, in fact, the victim of the land fraud case but it was projected as a beneficiary.

The petition said the observations even if not relating to the issues before court could still have or likely to have an effect on the rights and interests of the parties. Continue reading

Illegal industrial units Decision on relocation today

RAWALPINDI, Oct 14: The City District Government Rawalpindi will decide about the fate of illegal industrial units located in the residential areas in the city on Monday (today).

On the directives of District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar on September 29, the Rawal and Potohar town administrations, the labour department and the industries and enterprises department conducted a survey and found illegal industrial units which were also without fire safety measures.

The directives were issued after the fire incidents in Karachi and Lahore.

The local government departments submitted their survey report to the DCO on Saturday with a warning that lack of fire safety system and other security arrangements in the 99 illegal factories may cause a major tragedy.

According to the survey, over 99 unregistered factories were located in the thickly-populated areas of Khayaban-i-Sir Syed, Bangash Colony, Dhoke Dalal and Bagh Sardarn.

These small-scale factories manufacture and prepare goods using chemicals and other inflammable material.

The report said the shortage of facilities in the factories increased the risk of fire incidents as most of them either had no firefighting system or were running with defective equipment. Besides, there were also no proper security arrangements.

There are 38 registered factories in the city areas and 29 in the cantonment. But these units have also failed to adopt proper fire safety system on their premises. Continue reading