Ever since the Metro Bus was first conceived about 11 months ago, people have been criticizing and bashing it non stop. Social media has been abuzz with people perpetually bitching and whining about the Metro Bus without actually knowing or understanding the concept of the project.
It is easy to simply dismiss their criticism based on the fact that most of these perpetual whiners are not even from Lahore and have no idea what the city needs. But that is not the issue. The issue is that there is a whole group of people who have such intense hatred towards to development in Pakistan just because of their political leaning. So what if this project was done in Punjab under the PML – N leadership. Why didn’t the MQM and the PPP do something similar in Karachi or for that matter anywhere in Sindh? Why have the ANP and PPP not the same in KPK? Does that mean PPP, ANP, MQM and PML Q hate poor people and are against the growth of Pakistan? Point is Government of Punjab, for better or worse, took a decision and built a Mass Transit System in 11 Months to help a city of 10 million people continue growing.
At no point does anyone appreciate the fact that a whole Mass Transit System was completed in 11 Months! Even the Turks were shocked that this was done in less than 12 months while their project took over 3 years to build. And yes it is in Lahore because Lahore is a city of 10 Million people and is the largest city in Punjab. Why doesn’t the Sindh Government do the same in Karachi? Actually let us talk about Karachi; over 8000 people have been killed in Karachi in last 5 Years. In the last 11 months, while Lahore was building a 27 KM state of the art Mass Transit System, Karachi was busy killing over 1200 people. In January alone while Lahore was completing South Asia’s largest overhead bridge measuring 8.3 KM while Karachi was busy killing 250 people. Now please someone explain to me, how is building a mass transit system worse than overseeing the deaths of 1200 people in the same period of time?
30 Billion Rupees were spent on the Metro Bus, but what the critics and perpetual whiners forget to mention is the over 10,000 jobs that were created as part of this venture. What they also fail to mention is that Lahore now has over 10,000 skilled laborers who have worked on a land mark project like Metro Bus and are well trained in their field. But apparently because this was not a PPP led Benazir Named initiative, so it must be bad! Just like the Laptop Scheme was evil and wrong until the ANP and PPP started doing the same in KPK and then magically the same thing Punjab Government had done for two years became a visionary idea.
PM Ashraf has spent over 35 Billion from his discretionary fund since he has taken over a few months ago. And I fail to see where that money has gone. But surprisingly I do not see anyone bitching or crying over that. No one, literally no one PTI or even PML Q want to ask where that money is gone because they do not care. The target of rage is one political party and whatever they do will be targeted. And even if it is something as big as the Metro Bus, problem is petty people with personal vendettas will bash it not because it’s a bad idea because it is an idea that became reality through people they have a deep rooted hatred/jealousy of.
And yes, here in Pakistan rage has become a business. Like it or not, rage gets people places in this country. There are countless examples of people who have done nothing but bitch about stuff and have ended up with columns in third rate newspapers and now are apparent experts. So ‘rage’ as a profession pays well in Pakistan. And with a project like Metro Bus System that is targeted at the bottom end of our society, this rage is easier because most of the rage peers cannot even relate to public transport in this country. Point is, people do not care about the larger picture, and they do not care about Pakistan anymore. What they care about is being proven right, that too about their political leanings. And if they do it enough times, they are betting that they can score something for themselves just like a few rageholics have done in the past.
So go on and bash the Mass Transit System. Hopefully some of you might actually score a column too by bashing an initiative that helps hundreds of thousands of people.