ISLAMABAD - Taking first practical step towards materialising the long-standing demand of a decent transport facility of the commuters travelling within Islamabad, the Capital Development Authority has invited expression of interest (EoI) for operation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Islamabad.

City managers have sought expression of interest for construction, operation, development and maintenance of the BRT project from firms of national/international repute.

The interested firms have also been asked to submit their corporate details, financial and technical profiles along with EOI document.

Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF) and Cities Development Initiative for Asia’s (CDIA), a subsidiary of Asian Development Bank (ADB), have already been undertaking the feasibility study on the BRT Project of Islamabad.

Chairman CDA Engineer Farkhand Iqbal is confident of the timely completion of this much-needed project.

Talking to TheNation Iqbal said, “IPDF and CDIA have almost completed the feasibility study on the BRT project. ADB has carried out this work free of cost and within a week they would submit their report with the CDA.”

He said as per Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules the interested firms would ensure submission of EOI document with CDA within 45-day.

To run the affairs of BRT project, an independent Islamabad Transport Company would be established. A CDA officer of grade-20 would head this transport company.

The company would be responsible for negotiations, contracts, and agreements regarding transport services for capital city, besides regulating other relevant affairs.

The CDA had already specified around 20 acres of land in sector I-11 for bus stations and it would be under company’s purview to use the land for generation of revenue, Chairman CDA said. For the fiscal year 2012-13, the CDA has allocated Rs400 million for this project.

A PPP leader and former head of PM’s Task Force Faisal Sakhi Butt, whose utmost efforts in this regard have finally bore fruit, while sharing the details of the project said, “In first phase, the transport will be operated on Bhara Kahu, Golra Sharif, Pak Secretariat and Blue Area routes, which would be extended further to other parts of the city in second phase.”

The former head of the task force was once quoted as saying, “The Company will be empowered either to lease out land to other transport companies for bus stations or raise multi-storey buildings there for commercial use.

The company will also be empowered to commercialise all bus stops across Islamabad using them for branding.”

According to a recent survey conducted by National Transport Research Centre, around 23,688 people travel from Faizabad to Pak Secretariat daily, 18,517 from Faizabad to sector G-10, some 17,310 from I-10 to Secretariat and 8,270 from Abpara to Bhara Kahu.