The Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (Tepa) has prepared a project to extend the Metro Bus Service from Shahdara to Kala Shah Kaku, The Express Tribune has learnt.
A Tepa official requesting anonymity said that a proposal in this regard will be sent to the Planning and Development Department in September for approval.
He said the project will be completed under public-private partnership. The government will spend Rs2.9 billion out of a total budget of Rs7.59 billion. The remaining amount will be spent by the construction company hired for the project. He said it was part of a larger proposal, the GT Road Expressway.
An eight-lane highway will be built from Shahdara Mor to Kala Shah Kaku, he said. Two out of the eight lanes will be allocated for Metro Bus. A total of 89.9 kanals will be acquired on both sides of GT Road at a cost of Rs11 million.
Tepa had earlier prepared five designs of the expressway. Four of the designs were dropped due to high cost.
According to Tepa officials, the expressway will be used daily by 41,606 motorists travelling between Lahore and Gujranwala. After construction of the expressway, the Badamibagh Bus Stand will also be shifted to the outskirts of Shahdara.
Lahore DCO’s personal staff officer, Tariq Zaman, said the relocation of the bus stand was under consideration.
According to the Tepa official, the Metro Bus extension project was added to the expressway construction proposal to cut costs and reduce traffic problems. The official said two different flyovers were built during the construction of the Muslim Town Flyover and another bridge was constructed for the Metro Bus later. “This caused inconvenience for people and added to the construction cost. We do not want to repeat this,” he said.
He said the Metro Bus Authority would identify bus stops on the proposed route.
LDA Chief Engineer Israr Saeed said the project would be proposed in a few days. He said the company that would win the contract would be given a year to arrange for funds. Saeed said construction would start sometime next year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2014.