The Metrobus Project: A Discussion at Kuch Khaas

    Written by: Dr. Dushka H. Saiyid - Posted on: May 02, 2014 | Post your comment here Comments

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    The Metrobus Project: A Discussion at Kuch Khaas

    Islamabad Green, an NGO for the preservation of Islamabad’s environment, and Kuch Khaas collaborated for a discussion about the metro bus project for Rawalpindi-Islamabad on Thursday the 29th of April. The panelists consisted of Bilal Haque and Cristina Afridi of Islamabad Green, architect Imrana Tiwana, a social activist from Lahore, and Fauzia Minallah, the founder/director of Funkor Child Art Center. Dr Dushka H Saiyid, a member of Islamabad Green, moderated the discussion.

    There was consensus amongst the panelists and the audience that mass transit was long overdue in the twin cities but questions were raised about the  metrobus project, as conceived by Nespak. Bilal Haque, who gave a power point presentation, pointed out major loopholes of the project that had been pushed through with unseemly haste. Some of the issues he raised:

    • Nespak had been handed over the project without open competition with other bidders;
    • SEA or strategic environment assessment is carried out before the start of the project, as it explores the best feasible options before taking the decision whether the metrobus would be the most suitable mass transit system for Rawalpindin-Islamabad. This was not done.
    • In violation of all rules, the EIA or the environment impact assessment, instead of being carried out by the EPA or the Environment Protection Agency, was done by NESPAK, which has the contract to build the metrobus. This is a blatant conflict of interest.

    The meeting ended with a request to the audience to come to the Convention Hall on Saturday at 10.30 where a meeting had been called to discuss the project.

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