PESHAWAR: Adviser to the Punjab government on information Malik Mohammad Ahmad Khan on Saturday insisted the cost of both Lahore Metro Bus and Rawalpindi- Islamabad Metro Bus projects was much lower than that of the soon-to-be-executed Peshawar Metro Bus project.

Clarifying the cost comparisons given by the KP government, the adviser said the Rs60 billion capital cost of the Lahore Metro Bus project as claimed by the KP government was incorrect.

“In actual terms, the correct capital cost of the Lahore Metro Bus project was Rs29.65 billion, which included the Rs550 million capital cost of the Model Town underpass.

Punjab govt disputes cost comparisons given by KP govt

It is clarified that construction of Model town underpass was technically not directly related to Lahore Metro Bus project as it was undertaken as part of the ancillary road developments to facilitate the fl ow of normal motorised traffic at this point,” he said.

Mr Malik Mohammad also declared the reported Rs50 billion capital cost of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus project as incorrect.

“The correct capital cost of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus project is Rs42.81 billion, which includes the capital cost of the cloverleaf interchange at Peshawar Morr i.e.

Rs4.94 billion, the capital cost of a bridge over the Nullah Leh i.e.

Rs352 million and the capital cost of the rehabilitation of the existing road network and other additional works i.e.

Rs2.705 billion,” he said.

The adviser added that the projects in question were not directly related to the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus project.

Referring to the KP government’s claim that the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus project took 14 months to complete, he said the delay was caused for 126 days from Aug 14, 2014, to Dec 17, 2014, on account of the PTI and PAT sit-in at Islamabad’s D-Chowk.

Mr Malik Mohammad said the sit-in venue was located at the project’s Package V, where no work could be undertaken for 126 days.

“While the Package V was the worst affected, in actual fact, the whole project received a serious setback as the movement of the construction materials and machinery on other parts of the project was slowed down,” he added.

“Had that dharna not taken place, the project would have been executed in 10 months because the metro buses were ready for plying on Feb 17, 2015, whereas the project was actually commissioned on June 4, 2015,” he said.The Punjab government’s adviser said the inter-project comparisons on parameters like costs, execution time etc were inappropriate as the system carrying the capacity of passengers, specifications and scope of work varied from project to project.

“We are happy to note that the city of Peshawar is on its way to get a decent urban mass transit facility.

We earnestly wish the successful completion of the project for the good of our brothers and sisters in Peshawar,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2017