Transport Dept Takes Multiple Steps To Provide Modern Travelling Facilities To Masses

Transport Dept Takes Multiple Steps To Provide Modern Travelling Facilities To Masses

Transport dept takes multiple steps to provide modern travelling facilities to masses

The Punjab Transport department led by Provincial Minister Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan Khichi took multiple steps in two years of the PTI government to provide state of the art travelling facilities to the commuters besides improving existing network of transport in the province
LAHORE, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 20th Aug, 2020 ):The Punjab Transport department led by Provincial Minister Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan Khichi took multiple steps in two years of the PTI government to provide state of the art travelling facilities to the commuters besides improving existing network of transport in the province.

This was stated by spokesperson of the Transport department while highlighting initiatives of the PTI government in transport sector while talking to APP, here on Thursday.

About operations of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project, he said a substantial progress had been achieved in last two years towards completion of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical works of the project whereas successful trial run of the train had also been conducted in December, 2019. The matter regarding fixation of fare had been referred to Punjab Assembly for debate after presenting to the Punjab Chief Minister and Provincial Cabinet on February 18, 2020.

He said the department was actively engaged with EPC Contractor and Service Providers to start commercial operations at the earliest. Approximately 245,000 passengers would be served daily in first year of its operations, he added.

The spokesperson said a state of the art vehicle inspection and certification system (VICS) had been established in Punjab complying with international standards as 27 VICS stations had been established under this project while the quantity would be increased more in the future. Out of 27 VICS stations, 20 VICS stations were made operational after August, 2018, he added.

The construction work of VICS Stations in remaining districts was under progress as land litigation issues for remaining VICS Stations had been taken up with concerned quarters and efforts were being made for early resolution and completion of all VICS stations by end of year 2020.

On other initiatives of the department, he said, Punjab Green Development Programme (PGDP) was a major initiative aimed at introducing vehicle inspection and certification regime for private cars.

It was an unsolicited proposal prepared by private party in consultation with the department submitted to Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority. Department was fully prepared with all technical and financial requirements for induction of environment friendly buses under this programme and waiting approval of P&D department, he added.

More than 80% physical progress had been achieved and operations planned in PPP mode to minimize government expenses, he added.

The spokesperson said the department on instructions of the PTI government took difficult decisions for Financial Sustainability of Metro Bus and Feeder Services as 12 to 14% reduction in operational subsidy by increasing fare from Rs 20 to Rs 30 of Metro Buses. Further, on-board cash collection system in Feeder Services was introduced which resulted in increase in ridership by 100 percent in Multan and 26 percent increase in Lahore.

Metro Bus Service served around 150,000 passengers in Lahore, around 100,000 passengers in Rawalpindi and around 40,000 in Multan daily. Urban Unit had been assigned to explore potentials of non-fare revenue options along Metro lines, Orange Line and feeder services, he mentioned.

He said provision of 18 A.C buses in D.G Khan without any subsidy to meet travel demand of general public was started by the PTI government. Ground breaking of state of the art bus terminal in D.G Khan was done by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

To improve “C” and “D” Class Bus Terminals in Punjab, Minister Transport regularly visited bus stands across the province to upgrade and improve basic facilities such as toilets, waiting areas, plantation of trees etc. for general public, he added.

He said effective enforcement through field staff of Transport department against violations of overloading, fare overcharging, route permits, fitness certificate etc was ensured. In this regard, 38,648 challans were issued against violators and an amount of Rs 30.5 million was collected from August, 2018 to till date.

Yet another big initiative of the PTI government was towards establishment of Mass Transit System (Tram System) along Canal Road Lahore, he said and added that experts from Czech Republic and China visited Lahore to explore business opportunities related to Transport Sector.

In this regard, Canal Road from Thokar Niaz Baig to Jallo Morr was identified for establishment of Mass Transit System. Further, MoU was signed between Lahore Transport Company and M/s Inkon Czech Republic for feasibility study of Tram System on Canal Road. The feasibility study was being carried out by M/s Inkon. Meanwhile M/s NORINCO International Cooperation had submitted technical proposal for Autonomous-rail Rapid Transit along Canal Road, he added.

He said that Transport Minister along with Industries & Commerce Minister had held meetings with transporters for reduction of fares. Resultantly, the intercity fares were reduced by 20% and goods transport fares were reduced by 20 – 25%.

The spokesman said public awareness strategy was prepared by the department and executed by Secretary DRTAs in all districts of Punjab and was included display of Banners/Pana-flexes of cleanliness, dengue control and improvement in transport services and facilities at all places.

In governance reforms, he said, many steps were taken by the department which included replacement of adhesive stamps with online bank challan system to bring transparency / good governance and to facilitate the general public at large. Government of Punjab had decided to stop the use of adhesive stamps of Route Permits from 1st January, 2020 and in future, the Route Permits fee would be collected through E-Pay, he added.

He said the department also initiated the implementation of HRMIS and e-FOAS. Logins for HRMIS for officers having grade 17 or above had been developed and logins for remaining officials were being developed. Training sessions had also been conducted while level-01 of e-FOAS had been completed and Level-02 is under implementation.

Another governance reform included introduction of online ticket booking system for AC services, which would be gradually extended to Non-AC services, he said. The Transport department was launching a mobile based application to facilitate commuters for online booking of tickets, he said, adding, the application had already been developed by the department and would be launched soon.

He said the Transport department also took legislative initiatives which included Transport Network Companies (UBER, CAREEM, SWYL, AIRLIFT etc.) The department in consultation with IT platform ride hailing companies and relevant government entities, proposed amendments in Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1965 and Motor Vehicle Rules, 1969. The amendments had been approved by Provincial Cabinet and were submitted to Provincial Assembly for legislation. These regulations would contribute in provision of decent transport facilities for general public, private investment, employment generation and increase in revenue for the government.

He said the department was responsible for inspection and certification of Public Service and Commercial vehicles in Punjab, however, existing legal regime did not involve private vehicles (Motor Car and Motorcycle). The department, he mentioned, took initiative to expand the inspection and certification to private vehicles to enhance road safety in Punjab. In this regard, amendments had been proposed in Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1965 and Motor Vehicle Rules, 1969. A summary for approval from Chief Minister was forwarded by the Transport department.

To a question about role of the department in COVID-19, he highlighted that transport was a key sector affected by COVID-19 pandemic and operations of public transport were suspended on March 22, 2020. However, goods transport kept operating during lock down to ensure transportation of basic commodities from farms to markets. The Transport department under the guidance of provincial minister, conducted consultations with transporters for finalization of SOPs and subsequently public transport operations were resumed with strict adherence to SOPs, he concluded.

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