LAHORE: The Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) has invited proposals for the establishment of a state-of-the-art bus stand in the city on public-private partnership (PPP) basis, The Express Tribune has learnt.

It has been learnt that Commissioner Lahore Office has held meetings with infrastructure developers, asking them to submit their proposals for constructing the modern bus stand at Lorry Ada. They have also been asked to submit the financial model along with the construction design.

A senior MCL officer, Mian Waheed, said the commissioner office has thus far held meetings with the NCL, FWO and Daewoo to work on the design of the bus stand.

He said that currently the bus stand generates Rs900 million per year. Around Rs1.2 billion per year can be generated by developing a state of the art bus stand, another officer familiar with development revealed.

He said the project was conceived by the previous government. However, no progress was made in this regard.

The official said that this time around the government had shown seriousness towards the project that would benefit the people of the city. He said the general bus stand was in such a dilapidated condition that only those who had no other option would travel using the government-managed terminal. He said there was a perception that despite generating revenue of Rs900 million a year, the general bus stand had been widely neglected by the government.

He said the development of the bus stand would cost Rs3 billion to Rs4 billion. “The project will be proposed on a PPP model. The selection of the PPP model was up to the proposer,” he said.

He said once proposed, the PPP project would be approved by the authorities concerned for PPP projects before it can be taken up for finalisation. He said the entire process would take several months.

Lorry Ada administrator Ahmed Raza Butt said his office was not aware of the proposal but was working on three other projects for the bus stand. He said the first project was to address the issue of drainage.

He said that since the bus stand was in a low lying area, even slight rain left much of the bus stand inundated.

The second project is for uplifting the bus terminals, aimed at improving the existing infrastructure.

He said that the drainage project would cost around Rs12.5 million whereas the uplifting project would cost Rs32.5 million.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2020.