Islamabad’s beauty not to be marred in name of Rapid Bus project: NA told

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was told Tuesday that the government would not deface the federal capital in name of Rapid Bus Transit project rather an efficient bus service is on cards, initially for parliamentarians and the government employees.

Replying to a calling attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Khurram Jahangir Wattoo said Islamabad cannot afford massive excavations across the city to execute rapid bus service project for a city with the population of around 0.6 million people.

He said the incumbent Chairman CDA has been asked to give a second thought on the project initiated by his predecessor.

“We have told that Islamabad cannot afford such a project. At least we cannot deface the federal capital as was done in Lahore for the same project,” he told the House.

He said the parliamentarians would also be urged to use bus service to encourage others as it would help conserve fuel, adding the initially the bus service would be launched for Parliament Lodges and Pak Secretariat.

To another question, the parliamentary secretary apprised the House that the Prime Minister has changed the whole top brass of the CDA and had resolved to purge the Authority of corruption.

Wattoo said in the past, anomalies were seen in the affairs of the CDA; however the situation is improved gradually.

To a question, he said the CDA has rented out no green belt for commercial purpose however some licenses have been issued for outdoor advertisements and kiosks at right-of-the-way.

He also apprised the House that CDA has allowed parking lots for government organizations without any charges however private parties are being charged annual fees.

He said Marriott Hotel is being charges Rs 0.85 million annually for parking lot it has developed in adjacent plot; however he said the CDA has issued no permission to both Serena and Marriott Hotels to block roads in name of security measures.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi also expressed reservations over the blockade of roads by both hotels and asked the Minister of State for Interior Safdar Warraich and Khurram Wattoo to look into the matter.

The parliamentary secretary said the CDA has necessitated the construction of in-built parking spaces in all multi-storeys buildings to avoid traffic and parking issues