Monday, April 18, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated Monday morning the Orange Line Metro Bus service from Peshawar Morr to Islamabad, just days after taking charge as the new premier.
PM Shehbaz had ordered to resume work on this project right after assuming the office of Prime Minister.
"Former prime minister is panicking because I have been elected as the representative [...] I will work on a pace I am used to," PM Shehbaz Sharif said while addressing the inauguration ceremony in the federal capital.
"You [Imran Khan] may be panicked due to my speed of work but the people have stopped panicking."
The prime minister regretted the four years of delay in making the project, launched by the PML-N government under Nawaz Sharif in 2017, operational.
He said that the project was started in 2017 and it had to be made operational by 2018 but the work on it came to a halt when the PML-N's government ended.
Taking a jibe at the PTI government, the premier said that the lawyers of the then ruling party caused the delay, but couldn't prove a single penny of corruption in court
PM Shehbaz Sharif said that earlier, the country's defence expenditures used to be met by the national income, but during PTI's government, these expenses were met through loans.
"We meet the expenses of welfare and development projects with loans," he added.
"The expenditure of this project was brought down to Rs12 billion from Rs16 billion," PM Shehbaz said, adding that everything was available, including funds and that the only thing lacking was the spirit to work and there was no other reason for the delay in completion of this project.
Referring to his predecessor, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that "he used to travel to office from home in a cheap helicopter for Rs55 per kilometres, while his ministers moved in bulletproof cars."
"Did they care for the common people? If they did, this project wouldn't have been delayed."
Speaking about the Metro Bus service, the prime minister said that 15 buses have been borrowed from the Punjab Transport Authority to make the project operational immediately.
As many as 50 citizens will benefit from it on a daily basis and the project will later be extended till Rawat, he added.
He further stated that the public will not be charged for travelling in the Orange Line bus service during Ramadan.
PM Shehbaz Sharif expressed his gratitude towards China and Turkey for their contributions in the public transport project. He also asked the Chinese official to convey his request to the Chinese authorities to review the Karachi Circular Railway project.