Metro project: Criticism vs reality
IT is a usual practice to travel in pub lic transport all over the world and for this purpose people are provided with comfortable buses and trains as well as experienced drivers. Unfortunately, in our country, the situation is totally on the opposite direction. Daily basis accidents due to inexperienced and illiterate drives, no emergency exit doors in buses, cheap and sub-standard cylinders fixed in motor Rickshaws and vans that end up in bursting and number of other associated factors put people lives at great risk.
Apart from this, shortage of public transport means i.e. buses and vans forced people awaiting conveyance for hours. In addition, behavior of the bus/ van conductors adds insult to the injury. Their usual practice to disrespect the women, thrusting in and dragging out passengers from the moving vehicles, over-loading the buses as they are just concerned about their pockets which have nothing to do with the comfort of passengers. All these bitter truths demand a decent public bus service. In order to overcome these problems to a common man, Minister of Punjab inaugurated Tabeer Transport Service meant only for ladies. It has been able to let down their transport issues to some extent. But as we all know RWP/ISB are considered among the top 10 densely populated cities and it holds most of the working individuals. According to a survey, almost 0.2 million people move fro, RWP to ISB for jobs, universities and colleges. Taking into account this huge issue, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Shareef, acted upon his promise that he made during his election campaign and finally initiated the Metro bus project for Pindi/Islamabad.
Irony of the situation is that rather this noble cause is being appreciated it was highly condemned just for political tussles. Ignoring all this, CM concentrated at his work and finally completed it in record time. Now they are giving sleazy remarks about its design and construction by pointing out some flooded stations during this heavy rainfall season. But they are totally unaware of fact that there is a standard structure of metro across the globe either it is London, Paris or Delhi metro.
It consists of single parallel tracks with commonly used roads. Metro usually have underground passages and overhead tracks to avoid hindrance of common traffic. Thus metro shares same level of services and issues in most of the areas where it has been implemented. The underground stations of Delhi & London were also flooded due to rain in recent years. This is because of excessive rain and it is called force majeure which is not in control of human. The best way to control it is pumping out the water as quickly as possible and this system is already installed in every Metro station. However, ignoring all these criticism for sake of criticism, common man id fully enjoying the quality travelling service. They accept that it is not only for their travelling comfort but will enhance beauty of city as well as helpful for a clean environment.
According to Mudassir Malik, a RWP based worker of ISB NGO, “I had to travel toward ISB daily from RWP. In past, I had to hire a cab at higher rates as public transport not only rusty and old but usually late as well. Now I am a regular user of Metro service and found it quiet satisfactory both in terms of services and charges.” A student of SKANS, Hira Shahzad added, “It had been very difficult for me to attend my last class in evening as my parents were not comfortable to let me travel by cab late in the evening and public transport was just like hell. I am happy now that after Metro Service, I had not missed even a single class of mine”. Tasawar Shah, an old man of 72, expressed his views “I am now comfortable to travel either it is a visit to hospital for my regular check-up or for pension”. — The writer is freelance columnist based in Rawalpindi.