BRT project has contributed a lot towards defaming the PTI government as lot of questions were raised by the opposition over its design, infrastructure, planning, cost and time. On the other hand the government is putting its efforts to complete this project as soon as possible without any delay.
In a meeting (via video link) headed by PM Imran Khan, the KP government briefed that the civil works of the project had been accomplished that included a 32 km road, underpasses and overhead track however due to Covid-19 crisis (that had resulted in lock down of various industries), it would need another one month for its full completion.
“This is the cheapest of all metro projects ever launched in Pakistan”, says Shoukat Yousufzai
Talking to the media, the KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousufzai told that Imran Khan expressed his complete satisfaction over the progress of BRT and accepted a delay of one month due to current situation of the country. About the cost of the project, the minister claimed that BRT is the cheapest of all metro projects that are running in the country. He further added that the completed civil work included 32 km track (total) for metro buses and 64 km feeder routes track and it would be the first ever (3rd generation) metro project of Pakistan.
Yousufzai further revealed that different news were spread through media regarding the cost of this project (around Rs. 70 billion to Rs. 100 billion) however its actual cost was Rs. 29 billion that raised to 37 billion due to inclusion of some additional work later in the project and it was quite sufficient to justify their claim of being the cheapest of all metro projects ever launched in the country.
“The project got late due to Corona crisis in the country”, KP govt claimed
He further added that people had confusion in their minds about the 66 kms roads added by the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) in Peshawar road network and some commercial plazzas to be the part of BRT. He however clarified that although the PDA was BRT executing agency, the above said roads (66 kms) and commercial plazzas were not a part of BRT.
Mentioning the reason of delay in the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) system and other remaining work, Yousufzai told that most of the consultants were foreign nationals and had to return to their homelands due to outbreak of Covid-19 that had grabbed the whole world in its claws and clutches. “As soon as they come back, the stalled work will be resumed”.
Launched in October 2017, BRT was to be completed in April 2018 however the deadlines kept changing as announced by the project managers and now it is expected to complete in the month of June, 2020. In February, 2020 the KP government had informed the Supreme Court that the project would be finalized by the end of July this year. Peshawar High Court (PHC) had ordered NAB earlier for a complete investigation of alleged corruption in the project however the Government challenged PHC order in the apex court and the then Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar had ordered to stop the said probe in September 2018.