ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the Green and Blue lines of the mass transit metro bus service, the first interconnected four-line metro service in the country, terming the step relief for commuters of the twin cities dealing with soaring fuel prices.
Addressing the launch, the premier said the service would be a gift to the residents of the twin cities and will serve the common man, students and workers plying on the routes.
The service will connect Bhara Kahu, GT Road, Koral and Rawalpindi through the Green, Orange, Blue and Red Lines, respectively.
The bus service will run from Bhara Kahu to PIMS (Green Line) and from Koral to PIMS (Blue Line). The two lines will merge with the Red Line and from the Faiz Ahmad Faiz bus stop, passengers can take the Orange line to Islamabad International Airport.
The premier remarked that a decent and on-time transportation service was a service to the common man and lauded the efforts of the interior minister and the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
He also announced free transportation services to commuters for one month.
The premier said the shuttle service from Rawat to Koral was under consideration and funds would be provided for an early launch. He added that every penny of the national exchequer would be spent judiciously for the uplift of citizens and stressed that every public project is monitored to avoid lapses in delivery.
The prime minister said efforts were afoot to control inflation in the country through short-term relief measures and added that the government would promote solar power generation projects to mitigate the shortage of electricity.
Shehbaz also lauded steps taken by the Punjab government to provide free electricity to consumers consuming 100 units and hoped that other provinces would emulate the facility.
The prime minister also laid the foundation stone of a command and control centre for metro buses at Bhara Kahu, which is set to be completed in six months.
Chairman CDA Amir Ahmed Ali said 30 buses from China had been added to the fleet to facilitate the service. The route from Koral to PIMS saw the addition of 13 bus stations, with a headway of six minutes, he added.
The chairman said that eight stations were completed on the Green Line, whereas the remaining six stations would be completed by August 14.
A bus depot has also been established at Bhara Kahu to save dead mileage.
APP adds: The government is set to announce a comprehensive National Solar Policy on August 1 to provide cheap and environmental-friendly electricity to the general public.
The decision was taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as he chaired a high-level meeting of the Energy Task Force aimed at addressing the problems of energy shortage in the country.
The implementation of the National Solar Policy will be subject to approval by the Council of Common Interests.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Petroleum Minister Mussadik Malik, and the officials concerned. The chief secretaries of four provinces joined the meeting through a video link.
PM Sharif directed the task force to get feedback from the provinces on the draft solar policy and stressed ensuring unanimity of views at the provincial level on the projects of alternative energy generation.
Also, it was decided to shift the Prime Minister’s Office and the PM House to solar energy within one month.
The prime minister said the government was committed to making the country self-reliant in energy generation.
He mentioned that solar power was a clean and green way of electricity generation and said the solar projects would mitigate the issues such as distribution losses, power theft, and circular debt.
PM Sharif said affordable solar power would reduce the burden of inflation on the common man.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the authorities concerned to accelerate rescue and relief efforts in the areas affected by heavy rains and floods in different parts of the country, particularly Balochistan.
The prime minister expressed grief over the loss of life and properties caused by the rains and consequent floods.
He asked the chief ministers of the provinces to prioritize the provision of assistance to the rain and flood-affected people, besides personally supervising the operation.
According to the climate change ministry, the country received 87% above normal rainfall during the current monsoon season, adding that there were 16 Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) events this season due to extreme heatwave.
The prime minister also directed the National Disaster Management Authority and provincial disaster management authorities to speed up the emergency measures in coordination with the provincial governments and relevant departments.
He also instructed the relevant departments to accelerate relief and rescue operation in Quetta, Qila Saifullah, Zhob, Pishin, Harnai, Khushnub, Qamaruddin, Muslim Bagh and other affected areas.
He also called for providing immediate relief to the people who had lost their houses due to the heavy rains.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Mehmet Pacaci met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif here on Thursday and discussed the bilateral relations and matters of mutual interests.
The prime minister felicitated the ambassador on his appointment and extended best wishes to him for a successful term in Pakistan.
He stated that Pakistan-Turkiye fraternal ties were unparalleled in inter-state relations in terms of mutual trust, understanding and mutual support on each other’s national causes.
He expressed hope that during the ambassador’s tenure, the bilateral cooperation would be further strengthened, especially in the trade and investment domains.
The prime minister expressed gratitude for Turkiye’s steadfast support on Jammu and Kashmir dispute and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment on Turkiye’s core interests.