Progress in construction of Peshawar transit project, CM briefed

  • Khattak claims Peshawar’s BRT cost less than Lahore, Islamabad metro

PESHAWAR: Expressing his satisfaction over the progress in the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Pervez Khattak said on Thursday that the BRT was the only project in the country that had been completed within a short span of time and minimum expenditure.

Addressing the provincial cabinet, he said that the total expenditure of the BRT construction and other expenses including the purchase of buses, land, commercial plazas, drainage system, footpath and expansion of road was made public. He compared the Peshawar’s project with that of Lahore saying that the Punjab government, as well as Islamabad authorities, had shown only the financial expenditure of the construction of metro services. “Punjab government tricked and concealed the total expenditure of its metro services,” he claimed.

The relevant officers gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister who said, “In real terms only 30 billion rupees were spent on the construction of BRT, however, other expenditure was made on the purchase of buses, land, commercial plazas, drainage system, footpath and roads that increased the total allocation of the project.”

“The amount of Rs 30 billion is far less than what had been spent on Lahore Metro Project and that of Islamabad,” he added.

Provincial ministers, additional chief secretary, administrative secretaries and other relevant officials also attended the meeting.

It was briefed that in the interest the of public, few amendments were made in the BRT project. After these amendments, flyovers at Tehkal, Gulbahar, Firdous Chowk and Airport had been included in the project. The cabinet was assured that all the debris from the construction sides will be removed and roads on both the sides of the BRT would be developed into model arrangements by April 30.

“This will help for the smooth sailing of traffic because all obstacles would be removed by April 30,” the cabinet was briefed, apart from being informed that in order to redress the traffic problem on permanent basis, the 20-years plan was prepared in 2013 with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

A 27-kilometre long road of this project is being completed with its designed approved by the ADB. BRT, according, to the plan is part of the 20-year strategy designed to permanently resolve the traffic problem in the provincial metropolis.

It further said that Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) had okayed the project with an estimated cost of Rs 57 billion and it obtained clearance from Planning Commission of Pakistan. However, Central Development Working Party (CDWP) had approved the project with a reduced cost of Rs 49.346 billion in May 2017. The cabinet was further informed that the entire process of planning, including bidding, was approved by the ADB and media was in the picture on each and every aspect of this process. The cabinet was told that Pajagi to Warsak Road would be ready for transport by May 10.

The chief minister directed that the completion of Rind Road from Warsak to Hayatabad should be completed in an expeditious manner. With the completion of this project, traffic rush would be reduced on the main highways of Peshawar to a greater extent, briefing further added.

Khattak further directed to meet road requirements. He directed that further projects should be planned on the pattern of the Ring Road. He warned that no negligence would be tolerated in the completion of the BRT project. “All those officials if found guilty for negligence or delay of the project would be removed from the project positions,” he cautioned everyone.

The cabinet also approved Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018, after which the time-barred cases would also get condonation. Before this amendment, cases were not maintainable after the passage of 90 days while new arrangements will be subject for the approval from the provincial assembly.

The cabinet approved the utilisation of profit earned from the power houses to be built on the reserved land for forests. It was decided that 2 per cent of the income will be spent on the development of forests and trout fish farms.

Meanwhile, the motor vehicle ordinance of 1965 was approved for the reconstitution of Regional Transport Authority.

The next session will be held on April 24 to finish the remaining portion of the agenda.