Another head rolls over delay in Peshawar metro bus project


The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Wednesday removed Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) Director General Israrul Haq over delay in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, a day after it removed KP transport secretary Kamran Rehman Khan as criticism mounts over the government’s failure to complete the project within the stipulated time.

The BRT project was slated to be completed in six months but remains unfinished 17 months later.

In a statement, KP Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai said that both the officers were removed due to their incompetence.

“Because of these two officers, the government is facing disgrace,” Yousafzai said, adding that they will take action against anyone who hinders the progress of the project.

He added that Chief Minister Mahmood Khan wants to see the project completed. “Those officers who do their work will stay with us,” he asserted.

The BRT project, hailed as a “world-class transport service” aimed at generating “greater economic activity and prosperity in the city” on its official website, was launched by former chief minister Pervez Khattak during his tenure.

Construction on the project began in October 2017, but work on the fixed-rail continues to this day.

The BRT line is a 26-kilometre east-west corridor in the city, designed to move thousands of passengers per day. Of the total 31 bus stations, 11 are still incomplete. Work on the three bus depots, at Chamkani, Hayatabad and Dabgari, is unfinished. Over 200 buses were to reach Peshawar. So far, only 21 have arrived from China.

During all of this, the cost of the corridor has shot up from Rs49 billion to Rs66 billion.

Earlier, an inquiry report about the multi-billion project was released that highlighted a multitude of technical errors, faulty design and inept planning that caused heavy losses to the exchequer.