METRO PROJECT……….

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The Other Side of Metro Bus Lahore

 

 

 

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When they say it is all good, look deeper!

The Metro Bus System (MBS), of Lahore is arguably the country’s first rapid mass transit bus project and a state of the art transport service built through an enormous amount of money and effort.

As a general rule, all major cities of Pakistan are in dire need of major transport projects and facilities. The overcrowding and overloaded burden on the existing poor transportation facilities coupled with mismanagement and indifferent attitude of the provincial governments have led the situation into a nasty arena. In such a chaotic situation, Punjab government’s Lahore Metro Bus Service project is a step in the right direction and more importantly a necessary rung fixated into the ladder of development.

Before bombarding the project with a loaded baggage of criticism prepared through a rigorous evaluation and scrutiny, let’s see the good side of the picture first. Tearing apart the iron rods and steel sheets let’s look at the bigger picture and count to five as the goods of this project are exposed:

1- Sensuous Facility: If you are a Lahori and are not endowed with prestige resources, you must have experienced the dirty dingy ride on of the old Lahore transport facilities, whether it be a noisy rickshaw or crowdy local bus. Lahore Metro service has come as a dignified rescuer to the poor and middle class especially in face of not-so-good pre-existing transport facilities. MBS, as a modern transport facility in face of few and faulty pre-existent transport services has provided a better ride option for all, particularly for women and students.

2- A Ride for all: The best thing about Lahore Metro is its very service; an exclusive, long-route transit bus racing upon an uninterrupted 27 km path is a dignified facility ride for all. This practical facility extended to the masses is bound to facilitate millions over due course of time.

3- The Pompous Outlook: Following the footsteps of many developed and rapidly developing countries, Metro Bus Lahore, is built upon the Turkish metro bus structure and has been made by a mutual collaboration between Turkish government and Punjab government. With a 27 km track of Lahore metro, it would be unwise to make it stand in the line of some other metro systems of the world like of Tehran bus track which is about 100 km long or of Jakarta which is 170 km long. However, this project has put Pakistan in the list of about 36 countries that uses the modernized transport facility structure of Bus Rapid Transit system including Brazil, India and Turkey.

4- Lightening Pace of the Project: ‘When there is a will there is a way’. These words stand true as we saw how impressively the metro bus project unfolded and reached its completion point within the time frame of mere eleven months. From sketches to its long laid stretches, the whole structure of Lahore got modified in eleven months. This shows how if there is government’s will, things get done way quicker than adopting the usual long, boring, snail speed style. “The pace of project was quite impressive for the deputy prime minister of Turkey who expressed his views on the inauguration day”.

5- An Exemplary Model As a first of its kind, Metro Bus System, if turned into a success has the potential to act as an exemplary model to be implanted into other cities and provinces (with some necessary changes/improvements). If replicated in other cities with proper investment in planning the project according to the needs and requirements of each city then this would be a huge step towards development of infrastructure and enhancement of transportation facilities. Moreover, this project is likely to put pressure on other provincial governments to bring about similar developmental changes and provide the people with modern transport facilities. Such a competition could bear benefits of rendering governments responsible, which could happen if and only if the competition is played fairly and it stays out of the blame game, something opposite to the usual Pakistani politics style.

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Now let’s see the other side of the picture. These eleven months have inflicted many issues upon the 10 million people of Lahore. Along with the difficulties brought upon us there are some grave issues which are pulling back the MBS from driving fast towards its success line.

1- The High Cost of the Project: The high cost of the project has raised series of questions and feelings of concern among many. The cost of the project at the time of planning was different and as the project unfolded, the cost increased tremendously. According to the Punjab government, the total amount of money spent on the Lahore Metro Bus Service is 30 billion rupees. The actual figure might be much more than this, but even if we take their word for it, the economic analysis shows the money spent on this project definitely does not make it stand as the best option for consuming the bulk of resources it did. To give you an idea, consider the fact that the entire allocated money for Punjab infrastructure development is Rs63 billion and if 30 million is spent upon this one project it means that 50% or half of the development budget of Punjab was spent on one track of 27 km long, catering to the passengers of that route only and all that in one city of the whole province! How justified is that?

2- The Burden of Running Cost, Maintenance and Security Issues: With already such a high building cost, the burden of maintenance, electricity for escalators as well the security of buses is a worry some job for the government. And if either of these tasks is to be taken leniently, there would be a serious risk of failure of this project. The fact that within 2 days of its run, the overcrowding and over excited crowd of Lahore put off road some 12 buses indicate towards the problem of proper security and safety regulations in order to cordon off the probability of such issues rising up in the long run as they could then jeopardize the whole project.

3- The Planning Issues: Had the metro bus went through proper planning phases, the execution would have been different; more effective and efficient. The fact that there is excessive and unnecessary use of steel and iron rods, caging up the whole track is just one example of how the money, time and effort of many have been wasted. Also if half of the track of MBS is above the ground, then why was the other half brought down on road, increasing the need of extra fly-overs and underpasses for the normal traffic to resume its flow? An overhead railway metro system (which was probably perceived earlier) would have been a way better option with the additional factors of ‘longer life, less maintenance and speedy journey’.

4- A Sense of Deprivation among other cites: The Metro Bus System has provided a reason for other cities and provinces to feel deprived off. Lahore has become a reason for envious feelings and jealousy as it now holds what others don’t and arguably it has what it has on the expense of others’ deprivation, bringing in use the resources of other cities of Punjab.

5- A Wrong Calculation, perhaps: Rapid Transit Bus is definitely not the best option of transportation. A system of Underground Bus or Subways build upon the structure of London or New York could have been the golden project for Lahore, which would not just have depicted better planning but also a promising future. Moreover, the amount thrown into this one project could have been the game changer for so many other sectors of Punjab, say for instance health. Compare the Rs 30 billion spent on this project, with the Rs16.5 billion allocated to the health sector for the entire province of Punjab. Had this kind of money been injected into the health sector, the many issues and some demands of young doctors would have been met with ease.

So, if you are told everything is fine, how about finding the other side?

 

 

Mall of Lahore ……

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Mall of Lahore embodies traditional architecture but yet it is modern,   spacious and luxurious. Mall of Lahore is he Lahore’s largest retail and   entertainment complex.

Along with an extensive range of retail, restaurants and entertainment   options, there are many unique features to the Mall unlikely to be found in   any other complex in the country. The 650,000 square foot complex is home to   over 70 world-class shops, corporate offices and 60 luxurious apartments   where families are already enjoying a complete living experience.

What do the world’s hottest and most sought brands like TAG Heur, Nike, NEXT,   Accessorize, McDonalds, Mothercare, KFC, Levis’, Hub Leather and Khaadi have   in common? Of course, other than their huge fan following, it’s the one venue   they all share in the heart of Lahore; the Mall of Lahore. Apart from the   international brand footage, Mall of Lahore will also be a local hub of local   hi-end brands like CrossRoads, Stoneage, GOLD Spa & Fitness Club and   Cotton and Cotton.

The festive Food Court offers the best in fast food and dining with   international restaurants and cafes, along with local traditional cuisines   catering to all tastes and palates.

The Mall of Lahore with its solid infrastructure is part of Pakistan’s first   “Smart Building”, the Park Lane Tower. A Smart Building features the most   recently invented, high technology management, surveillance and   safety/security features.

The Mall caters to the consumer’s every need featuring a wide range of items   from gold, electronics and textiles to haute couture, boutiques and designer   brands. Mall of Lahore is designed to be a prestigious shopping destination   catering to quality-conscious residents and visitors to Lahore.

Royal Palm Golf and Country Club ………..

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The Royal Palm Golf and Country Club (RPGCC) is a golf course in Lahore Pakistan. It is located on the Canal Bank Roads in Lahore. It was owned by the Pakistan Railways and named as Pakistan Railways Golf Club which they released in 2001 and renamed as Royal Palm Golf and Country Club. It is a National and International sports venue.

 

Best Hotels Of Lahore…

Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan, is home to one of the country’s busiest airports, Allama Iqbal International, on the eastern outskirts of the city. The airport is surrounded by residential areas and so there are no hotels on site. The closest full-service hotels are in Gulberg, a posh suburb of Lahore, and also along the city’s central Mall Road. In this area you will also find Lahore’s premier golf course at the Royal Palm Golf Club. Historic Old Lahore and the main sights can be found in the northwestern end of the city.

Hotel One

A stylish modern hotel near Lahore’s chic M.M. Alam Road, Hotel One is managed by the luxury Pearl Continental hotel group. The hotel is next to the trendy Coffee Tea & Company, across from the Arizona Grill steakhouse, and within walking distance of other restaurants. Rooms feature cable TVs and minibars. Hotel one has a Wi-Fi hotspot, and offers shuttle service. A gym, with separate areas for men and women, is located on site. Hotel One has three other locations in Lahore at Davis Road, Faisal Town and Mall Road, but this Gulberg location is closest to the airport. The hotel is about a 20-minute ride to Royal Palm Golf Club.

Hotel Sunfort

Located in the bustling Liberty Market Commercial area, Hotel Sunfort is a 20-minute drive from the airport and just steps away from one of the city’s most vibrant shopping areas. Tiny shops line Liberty’s alleyways, and women peruse piles of shoes and saris. In this area you will find jewelry stores, tailors, wedding dress workshops, dye masters, and reams of colorful fabric. Hotel Sunfort’s prices for its standard rooms and suites are on the high-end, but the hotel is equipped with central air conditioning, cable TV and a full business center. Minibars and 24-hour room service are available. Royal Palm Golf Club is about 3.5 miles from the hotel.

Avari Hotel

One of Lahore’s only five-star hotels, the Avari is located on Mall Road, the city’s main thoroughfare. The airport is a 25-minute drive from the hotel, and the Royal Palm Golf Club is just two miles away. The Lahore Zoo and Bagh-e-Jinnah (Jinnah Gardens) are within walking distance. Mall Road offers convenient access to historic Old Lahore, including the majestic Badshahi Mosque and bustling Anarkali Market. Complimentary airport shuttle is included in the hotel’s nightly rates, and the hotel can arrange a variety of services from babysitting, car rental and a personal concierge. Mingle with the city’s elite at one of the hotel’s five restaurants: Kim’s, Dynasty Chinese, Fujiyama, La Patisserie or the open-air Tollington. The Avari’s 188 rooms and suites feature complimentary on-demand movies, satellite TV, mini-bar and central air conditioning. A spa, massage parlor, outdoor poo, and gym are located on site, and business travelers can books rooms that include computers and printers.

Lahoris are known for their love of food and eating..

Lahoris are known for their love of food and eating. While Lahore has a great many traditional and modern restaurants, in recent years Western fast foodchains, such as McDonald’sPizza HutDomino’s PizzaSubway SandwichesDunkin’ DonutsNando’sKentucky Fried Chicken and Hardee’s have appeared all over the city. Recently the food streets in the historic locales of Lahore (GawalmandiAnarkali, and Badshahi) have attracted tourists. Food streets have undergone restorations and are cordoned off in the evenings for pedestrian traffic only; numerous cafés serve local delicacies under the lights and balconies of restored havelis (traditional residential dwellings). Some of the trendiest restaurants in Lahore are concentrated on the M M Alam Road in Gulberg. Here, dozens of high-class culinary outlets, ranging from Western franchises to traditional, ethnic, or theme restaurants, attract all classes of Lahore’s citizens. New restaurants are constantly opening, and the business is extremely competitive.

The Lahore Fort…..

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The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled city of Lahore.

Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal…………

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The Tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal is a simple but impressive structure located in Lahore, Pakistan in the Hazuri Bagh lawn between the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort where both the grand structures (the Mosque and the Fort) face each other. Official guard is maintained by Pakistan Rangers. Hundreds of visitors come to the mausoleum every day to pay their respects to the Poet.

 

Minar-e Pakistan…………..

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 Minar-e Pakistan:

 

The Minar-e-Pakistan or “Pakistan Day Memorial” has been erected as a monument in commemoration of the Lahore Resolution in Iqbal Park. This is the site where in 1940 the Muslim League held its historic 34th annual session and demanded a separate homeland for Muslims.

The base of the tower is raised approximately 4m. From the ground. It rises up to approximately 13m. Forming a sculpted, flower-like base. From this point it tapers as it rises. The base platform is shaped like a 5-point star and it encloses crescent shaped pools.

The overall height of the monument is approximately 60m. It is constructed in re-inforced concrete, all poured in-situ. The floors and walls are rendered in stone and marble.

It is located in Andoorne Lahore. It is a good place to visit the historical place.

 

 

General Post Office….

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The General Post Office (GPO) is the main post office in Lahore, Pakistan as well as the countries largest. It is located at GPO Chowk, Mall Road (Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam) near Anarkali. On average it handles 20,000 pieces of mail per day. It was built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria,s Golden Jubilee and replaced the telegraph office of Anarkali Bazar. The building consists of two main halls and two minarates.

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