Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday visited Peshawar Mor station of Islamabad metro bus service and ordered an inquiry into inordinate delay in initiation of service from there to the Islamabad International Airport. Shehbaz regretted that the project launched by the PML-N government in 2017 with completion time of a year remained incomplete to date. Construction of 25.6km track estimated to cost Rs16 billion was started in January 2017. The project was executed by the National Highway Authority (NHA) and was supposed to be completed in August 2018. However, the project faced delay and its civil work was completed last year. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) took over the project in March last year from the National Highways Authority (NHA) under the direction of the federal government and started the process to procure buses. Officials of NHA and CDA briefed him about the project, says a news report. According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the premier emphasized installation of racks in the buses to accommodate the luggage of passengers going to the airport. He expressed dismay over delay in the project, terming it “severe negligence” while pointing out that Rs16 billion had been spent on the project so far. The prime minister also ordered initiation of a free metro service for residents of the capital during the month of Ramazan. Shehbaz also directed a feasibility study as per Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules for two additional routes, namely from Rawat and Bhara Kahu, connecting the airport. He termed delay in completion of the project an injustice to the general public whose tax money had been consumed but the facility was being denied to them. The premier directed the officials concerned to make TORs of the inquiry to assess reasons for the delay. He also directed running free of cost service for a trial period until the installation of ticketing machines. Soon after assuming office on April 11, Shehbaz had issued orders for making the Islamabad metro bus service operational within five days. During the visit, PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Hanif Abbasi and Anjum Aqeel accompanied the prime minister. It was highlighted that initially 30 buses would be run from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport, while 15 buses would be taken from Punjab Mass Transit Authority, Rawalpindi till addition of the new fleet to the metro service. The prime minister was informed that the CDA was temporarily operating on behalf of the government, while a separate Metro Bus Authority was required to be formulated. Buses will be covered in orange skin for route coding. The NHA to N5 station will take 6-8 minutes and from N5 to the airport around 25-30 minutes. The shuttle service will be run at a stretch of 11 kilometres. Sharing pictures of PM Shehbaz’s visit, Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a tweet, said the premier had given directives to run free of cost metro bus service during the month of Ramadan. She said the previous rulers were making the excuse of “foreign conspiracy” to cover up their incompetence and corruption.