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Islamabad bus rapid transit project looks scrapped
10-25-2013, 12:24 AM
Post: #1
Islamabad bus rapid transit project looks scrapped
ISLAMABAD:
In a latest development, city managers have aborted their plan for a bus rapid transit (BRT) project for the capital. They are now working with the Punjab Metrobus Authority on an integrated mass transit system for the twin cities, for which the first phase of the bid evaluation process for hiring a consultant firm has been completed.
The firm will conduct traffic modelling and feasibility study for an integrated mass transit system for the twin cities. The pre-feasibility study of the BRT project was completed with the help of the Asian Development Bank, but it was scrapped after Punjab’s bureaucracy came up with the idea of an integrated mass transit system for Rawalpindi and Islamabad, following the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government’s installation in the centre.

The project was initiated by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) during the outgoing year of the previous government. The CDA board had also approved the Rs7.5 billion BRT project for Islamabad on February 19, for which the ADB was willing to fund a detailed feasibility study.
According to a Punjab Metrobus Authority (PMA) official, three consortia have qualified after they scored 70 per cent and above in their technical proposals. The firm will be selected after studying financial proposals of the qualified firms in the coming week. “The consortia filing the lowest financial bid will be declared the consultant for the project,” he added. The technical proposals were evaluated by a six-member technical committee with representatives from the CDA, PMA and the finance and planning departments of the Punjab government.
The three firms are Mott MacDonald of the United Kingdom, ILF Consulting Engineers, Austria and a Turkish firm along with Nespak. PMA had invited the firms to submit technical and financial bids. These firms were selected after a pre-bid conference attended by representatives of seven firms a month ago.
“Hiring a consultant firm will be a step forward towards materialising the incumbent government’s plan of provision of transport facility to the residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi,” said CDA Spokesperson Asim Khichi. A CDA official said the consultant firm would carry out traffic modelling and feasibility study for the mass transit project for twin cities within six months, as mentioned in the request for proposals. Following that, the firm would suggest the design of the mass transit bus or rail service on three possible routes within Rawalpindi and Islamabad, he added.
“The Punjab government is interested in installation of an elevated rail system in Rawalpindi. But an elevated rail is not suitable for Islamabad owing to its terrain,” the official added, saying it is yet to be decided whether the federal government would fund the project or foreign funding would be sought.
Funding issues
The CDA has so far not allocated even a single penny for advertisements and the process of bid evaluation. “The incurred costs so far, around Rs4.5 million, on publishing advertisements and other things have been borne by PMA,” said a senior official of the CDA’s Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Wing. The finance wing of the authority had been requested to set aside at least Rs10 million under this head, he added
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