Tag Archives: Metro

Metro bus: Alternative arrangements not enough says ICCI



The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has demanded better alternative routes for traffic disturbed by construction work of the metro bus project in Islamabad.

While welcoming the mass transit project and terming it a need of the hour, acting ICCI President Khalid Chaudhry said residents are faced with difficulties due to insufficient alternative routes for traffic.

He appealed to the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project chairman Hanif Abbasi, Rawalpindi commissioner and the Capital Development Authority to take steps to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, particularly around 9th Avenue.

He said the Rawalpindi traffic police are managing the Benazir Bhutto Road traffic better than their counterparts in 9th Avenue, Islamabad.

Chaudhry said there are no sign boards on alternative routes in Islamabad due to which road users are facing problems.

The acting ICCI president said before the start of the construction work, it was decided that arrangements will be made to deal with air pollution the work was going to cause.

“The authorities had promised to provide dust mask to the residents of Sector G-9 but nothing has been done so far. Many accidents have happened because of the lack of sufficient alternative routes,” he said.

He called upon all the authorities to look into these problems and take remedial measures on an urgent basis. Otherwise, he said, the traders will take to the streets.

He said traffic engineers should be appointed in the traffic police immediately and the civic agency should improve traffic management in the capital. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.


20 dead, scores injured in Moscow metro crash



MOSCOW: Twenty people died and scores more were hurt after a train derailed in Moscow’s packed metro during rush hour on Tuesday in the worst accident to hit one of the world’s busiest subways.

Russian television described scenes of chaos and panic on the capital city’s famed system, saying passengers fell like dominoes when the train braked abruptly and three carriages derailed.

President Vladimir Putin, who is currently on a trip to Brazil, was informed of the tragedy that put a huge strain on the city of some 12 million and snarled traffic on its notoriously clogged roads amid a heatwave.

Sirens wailed as dozens of ambulances rushed to help treat the wounded and helicopters buzzed overhead to evacuate those with the most serious injuries, AFP journalists said at the scene outside the deep Park Pobedy metro station in western Moscow.

Nineteen people perished at the scene and another passenger died of her injuries in hospital, a health ministry spokesman said in televised remarks, adding that nearly 130 people were hospitalised.

Rescue teams were working to free about five people believed to be stuck in a train underground, Moscow deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov told journalists at the scene.

“There are those who’ve been trapped, they are showing signs of life,” he said.

Around half of those who were hospitalised were in a serious condition, authorities said.

“I thought it was the end,” one passenger said on television. “We were trapped and only got out through a miracle.

“There were lots of injured. Various injuries: heads, legs.”

Passengers said smoke quickly spread through the carriages and rescue workers treated them with oxygen.

The accident took place as temperatures outside soared to 28 degrees Celsius.

Authorities said it would take 24 hours to deal with the aftermath of the accident.

As news of the crash spread, the hashtag #metro quickly become one of the most popular on Twitter in Russia.

Alexei Naryshkin, a presenter on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station, posted a photograph on Twitter of rescue workers carrying a body in a black bag.

“They are laying out the injured. They constantly go down with stretchers. They carry them out. Some are unconscious. Some are moaning with pain,” Naryshkin wrote.

Another witness, a young man in a polo shirt, said on television: “I got into the carriage and after about 20 seconds, the light went out and the train was just pulled apart. I was just thrown into the centre of the carriage.”

“Panic erupted,” he told Life News television.

“We climbed out of the carriages and we saw a blockage, men took hammers and pliers and broke it down and we walked on. The train was smashed, the chassis was just pulled apart.”

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin rushed to the scene and pledged to do everything possible to help the victims.

“What happened is one of the most major accidents of recent times,” he said.

Television footage showed rescue workers carrying bloodied passengers away on stretchers, while paramedics treated some on nearby grass verges.

Sobbing people, some with bandages around their heads, were shown seated on chairs outside the metro.

Citing preliminary information, the Investigative Committee said the accident happened due to a train braking abruptly because of a false alarm triggered by a supply voltage dip.

A probe has been opened into the accident, the committee’s representative, Roman Syomushkin, told reporters.

“This is the most serious man-made disaster in the Moscow underground in its entire history,” infrastructure expert Alexei Khazbiyev told AFP.

“It is the most serious accident apart from terrorist attacks.”

He slammed authorities for not doing enough to modernise the overcrowded metro system, stressing it could not cope with the current passenger traffic.

“We are paying for poor-quality and dangerous services,” he said.

Opened under Stalin in 1935, Moscow’s ornate metro is considered one of the world’s busiest and carries some nine million people every day.

The train derailed between Park Pobedy and Slavyansky Boulevard metro stations on the blue line.

Moscow’s deepest station, Park Pobedy opened 2003, while Slavyansky Boulevard opened five years later.

In the last serious accident on the Moscow metro in 1982, eight people died when an escalator broke down.


Road to progress: Multan Metro Bus launch in August, says Shahbaz Sharif



LAHORE: 

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday foundation stone for Multan Metro Bus would be laid in August.

He told a press conference Rawalpindi Metro Bus would be completed in December this year.

The chief minister said August would be an important month for investment in the country. “A delegation of Chinese investors will visit Pakistan in August to finalise projects related to Pakistan-China Economic Corridor,” said Sharif who has recently returned to Pakistan following a three-day visit to China. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal was also present.

The chief minister said his visit to China was part of the development process that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had started last year by signing a memorandum of understanding on Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.

He said officials from the two countries would finalise details of projects related to energy and infrastructure development in August. The development of Gwadar Port would also be taken up, he said.

Sharif said he had discussed financial and technical issues of several projects with the China National Development Reforms Commission. He said work on Lahore-Karachi Motorway would be started soon.

The chief minister criticised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan for announcing a Tsunami March on August 14.

He said instead of resorting to agitation, Khan should contribute to the country’s development.

“Imran Khan should work for the welfare of the country. While Imran Khan will be leading a protest rally, I will be inaugurating Multan Metro Bus,” he said.

Sharif said the people of Pakistan would fail the PTI’s long march. “Imran Khan does not want country to prosper.”

The chief minister said those who lived in western countries had come to Pakistan with their so-called agenda of brining a revolution.

Highlighting the importance of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, Iqbal said China wanted to develop its western areas and it needed a corridor for the logistic support needed for the purpose. He said some elements did not favour Chinese investment in Pakistan.

He said if Pakistan failed to provide the corridor, China might move to Iran or Afghanistan to find an alternative route.

He said that the PTI’s proposed protest would discourage foreign investors from investing in Pakistan. He said that Imran Khan’s allegations of rigging in last year’s general elections were baseless.

He said that instead of protesting, the PTI chief should work for the welfare of the people displaced as a result of an ongoing military offensive in North Waziristan.

The minister said that the government would not allow anyone to derail the democratic process.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2014.


All aboard: Karachi’s metro bus project to run along same way as Lahore



KARACHI: 

There were a lot of things Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to do in his one-day visit to Karachi. He had several meetings lined up, one of which was at Governor House with a special announcement for the residents of Karachi.

On Thursday, the prime minister announced that they would launch the Metro Bus Project in the city and will have Rs15 billion set aside for it. “We have decided to take over the green line project in the city,” he said. “The metro bus service will start on the same pattern as Lahore.”

The green, yellow and red line projects are part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors that have already been announced by the Sindh government. In the current financial budget, the provincial government has also allocated Rs3 billion for the green line corridor that is supposed to start from Surjani Town and go all the way to Merewether Tower.

The prime minister (PM), however, categorically explained that the green line project will be completed with funding as a federal project. He said that he wanted to hurry up and finish work on this 25-kilometre corridor which would ease the traffic congestion in the city.

Officials who were briefing the PM on the BRT corridors said that this was being proposed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the provincial government would work with the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) on it together.

At this point of the meeting, the PM turned to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and asked if he would object to the federal government taking over this project. Shah said that he would have no objection and added that the Sindh government was already pursuing the Centre to invest in Karachi.

While addressing those present at the meeting, Sharif said that Karachi was the economic hub of Pakistan and that is why the federal government wanted to focus on its mega schemes. “We will start work on the Lahore-Karachi motorway soon. A total of Rs55 billion have been released to National Highway Authority for this projcct,” he said assuring the chief minister and governor that development funds for the K-IV, SIII and other mega schemes would not be curtailed.

During the meeting the issue of Karachi Circular Railway and Lyari Expressway was also taken up. The federal minister for railways, Khwaja Saad Rafique, and Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana briefed the PM about the railway and expressway projects. The chief secretary informed the premier that they were trying to relocate the people living on part of the expressway that was incomplete. Once, he said, the people were relocated they could start working on it again.

The PM was accompanied by the federal interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar on this trip. They assured Shah and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad of the federal government’s financial assistance to resolve these issues without any delay.

Nawaz Sharif also held three other meetings, including one on the law and order situation with political parties, members of the business community and law enforcement officers.

The business community asked the PM to hand Karachi over to the armed forces for just six months given the increasing extortion and kidnapping cases. The chief minister defended his government’s efforts and said that a couple of days ago the business community had held a meeting with him and appreciated the Sindh government’s efforts. Source told The Express Tribune that the business community led by Siraj Qasim Teli presented facts and figures on how the industrialists were shifting their industries from Karachi and demanded that if the army can be called into Multan, Islamabad and other cities why can’t it be deployed to Karachi till things got better.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2014.


Metro bus: Over 40 per cent work completed



ISLAMABAD: 

Officials of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) have claimed that 45 per cent of the work on the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus project has been completed.

RDA officials said work on piling the sides of Nullah Leh has been started without demolishing the bridge near Rialto Chowk.

They said the land acquiring process for setting up bus terminals at Flashman’s Hotel, Mareer, Liaquat Bagh, Committee Chowk, Waris Khan, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rehmanabad and Sixth Road is under way.

Haroon Ali, a senior site engineer of the project, told APP three companies have completed 30 per cent work at their designated sites.

The task of erecting pillars for the 8.6-kilometre elevated track from Flashman’s Hotel to Faizabad is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2014.