PESHAWAR: The provincial capital will have fully operational mass transit system by the end of December 2018 that will operate from Chamkani to Karkhano Market adjacent to Khyber Agency.

The provincial cabinet in its meeting here on Tuesday approved establishment of Mass Transit Authority to facilitate formation of the much-awaited rapid transport system in the city. The project will cost Rs25 billion and 100 buses would be inducted in its fleet. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak chaired the meeting.

Giving details of the cabinet meeting, Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman told journalists that feasibility for the mass transit system was in progress and work on the project was likely to start in November. The mass transit route would pass through Grand Trunk Road, Sonehri Masjid Road, Sir Syed Road and Jamrud Road, he added.

Mr Farman said that the cabinet approved a draft to establish Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Urban Mobility Authority that would oversee the transit system. The chief minister will be chairman of the board of directors of the authority while minister for transport will work as its vice-chairman.

The board will comprise 14 members including three MPAs and three members from the civil society. The minister said that the draft was prepared with the consultation of a team nominated by Asian Development Bank.

With 100 buses,the project will cost Rs25 billion

He said that the authority would work out policies for the urban transport system in the province. He said that cabinet decided to decrease forest duty on Chilgoza (pines), beverages and mushroom (morels). He said the levy was imposed as per Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Ordinance, 2002 on dried fruit items.

The cabinet also approval recommendations for making changes in a draft bill regarding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Private Partnership (amendment) Act, 2016. Similarly certain amendments into Procurement Regulatory Authority Act, 2012 were also approved.

The minister said that the legal heirs of slain MPA Sardar Soran Singh would get compensation under the Shuhada Package. He said that the provincial assembly had unanimously passed a resolution demanding of the government to compensate the slain MPA’s family under the Shuhada Package. He said that under Article 130 (4) of the Constitution the implementation of the resolution of the assembly was binding upon the government.

Under the package, the family of the slain lawmaker would get Rs10 million cash and two residential plots or Rs5.5 million besides provision of free education to his children up to master level.

The minister said that a committee was constituted to frame recommendations for creation of Zone-VI comprising Kohistan Torghar, Battagram and Shangla districts.

Meanwhile, an official statement said that during meeting, the chief minister ordered quarters concerned to prepare baseline for the construction of sport complexes. He said that there should be comprehensive leasing formula with 10 year increase annually.

The chief minister asked Special Assistant Akbar Ayub to prepare comprehensive policy guidelines and present the same in the next cabinet meeting. The lease period can be increased from the earlier 15 years to more flexible approach of 33 years.

The chief minister said that there should be a timeline for the preparation of laws, regulations and subsequent notification. The department concerned would be accountable for finalisation of rules of business and relevant regulatory framework.

He directed for the formation of a committee for the checking of prices of medicines, spurious drugs and rate of the essential commodities of daily life. Regarding the adhoc lecturers in Fata, Mr Khattak asked education minister to find out legal solution to the issue.

He directed transport and police departments to show whether they had formed a corruption-free and foolproof system for the issuance of driving licences.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2016