Ahmadinejad proposes use of foreign investment in public transport

March 8, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called on Tehran Municipality officials to use foreign investment, as much as they deem necessary, to expand public transportation systems.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks on Sunday during a ceremony to commemorate the National Tree Planting Day which was held near Karaj, the capital city of Alborz Province, located at west of Tehran.
Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Tehran Governor General Morteza Tamaddon, along with a number of parliamentarians and officials attended the ceremony.
In a symbolic move, Ahmadinejad planted a sapling to encourage people to become accustomed to planting trees.
During his speech, Ahmadinejad expressed dissatisfaction over the urban development pattern in Tehran and said it must undergo a thorough revision.
He said, “There are few cities, as large as Tehran, in the world in which people enjoy the lowest quality of life at apartments while facing the highest cost of living.”
“I think there is a way out and that is allocating some areas in the country to the people to build freestanding houses,” he stated. “Who has said the people must live in apartments?”
“Till when the (Tehran) Municipality must pay heavy expenses to expand green space, reduce air pollution, and develop public transportation systems?”
He explained a major issue has been ignored which is the fact that “around eight millions of the country’s population are living in Tehran whose area is approximately 800 square kilometers.”
Ahmadinejad went on to say that the people must be encouraged to take active parts in the plans intended to expand green space and increase the quality of their lives.
Trees play key roles in the human life cycle and planting trees would be the best gift to the people inside the country and around the world, he said.
The president also expressed his concern over what he described as a “great incident” likely to happen in Tehran.
“All experts believe such an event would take place. I hope it will not occur. If it happens, the government and the Municipality would not be able to manage it.”
Ahmadinejad was referring to the potential threat of earthquake which some specialists have predicted will strike Tehran as the city sits on several fault lines.