PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit’s land acquisition and resettlement is likely to cost Rs18.9 billion, documents reveal.

The cost estimates are contained in the BRT’s Land Acquisition and Resettlement Plan made by the KP planning and development department for the Asian Development Bank.

The plan puts the total land acquisition and resettlement cost for the Rs56 billion project at Rs18.9 billion.

Work on the project is likely to be launched in August this year.

Work on Peshawar bus project likely to begin in August

Around 98 per cent of the money, which is estimated to be around Rs16.92 billion, would be spent for land acquisition, while the rest will be used to meet the expenses of compensation and resettlement assistance and 10 per cent contingency.

However, the costs of relocation of public utilities including electricity pylons and poles with transmission lines, transformers, water supply stations, drainage systems and telecommunications infrastructure will not be included in the LARP budget. Instead, they will be part of the BRT budget.

The plan noted that the project is likely to affect 535 households due to the acquisition of 117 kanals of private arable land, demolition of permanent structures of two underpasses on the Grand Trunk Road, four commercial toilets, three kiosks and 12 stores, a horizontal structure of 14 shops, a store room and two mosques.

In addition, the document noted that the project will also impact the livelihood of eight tenants of agriculture land, 86 formal businesses and shopkeepers, 235 informal vendors operating road side micro enterprises, 99 employees of formal businesses, four security guards of underpass markets, and a mosque prayer leader.

It added that all formal and micro businesses need relocation of their businesses.

“The losses will be mitigated by providing compensation for loss of land, crops, wood and fruit trees, structures, provision of alternative shops against loss of commercial structures by leaseholders and resettlement assistance for loss of income and livelihood,” it said.

The LARP said the BRT construction would be restricted to the existing road and available width of the right of way and that there would be no acquisition of private land for the alignment of the main BRT route.

According to it, the bus depot at the western end of city will be constructed on 30 kanals of unused land of sewerage treatment plant located in Hayatabad Phase III and owned by the Peshawar Development Authority, while 31 kanals of government owned land located in the Dabgari Garden area of the city will be acquired for staging station and multi-storeyed car parking facility.

However, 117 kanals of private land would be acquired for the construction of eastern bus depot at the junction of Northern Bypass, GT Road and Motorway (M1) near Chamkani. The Firdous and Hashtangri underpasses situated on the GT Road will be demolished.

The project will restructure the main city transport corridor that links eastern and western parts of the city.

The BRT full alignment starts from Chamkani and it goes along the GT Road at-grade until the junction with Ashraf Road, where it will go into a tunnel connecting both approaches of GT Road, Malik Saad Shaheed Road and Cinema Road.

After the tunnel, the main BRT route follows Cinema Road at-grade where it would become elevated to bypass the junction with Hospital Road. It stays elevated on Khyber Bazaar Road and Railway Road and passes the Soekarno and Suba Chowk, the two most congested intersections in the area.

After the railway road, the elevated BRT section turns right at Saeed Anwar medical center to cross the railway station, where a BRT-only bridge will be constructed.

After crossing the railway station, the BRT goes at-grade again and join Saddar Road just after Peshawar Press Club.

On the preferred alignment, the BRT stays at-grade on Saddar Road, turns right to Khadim Hussain Road and Sir Syed Road to go to Aman Chowk, where the BRT goes on BRT-only tunnel.

The corridor continues through GT Road and Jamrud Road where it goes into an elevated BRT only corridor above a dried-up river bank before the Bab-e-Peshawar Bridge until it joins the Habib Jalib Road towards Tatara Park and joins the Ring Road.

This alignment puts the total length BRT length at 30.8 kilometers of which 26 kilometers will be built in Phase I and five kilometers in Phase II.

Of this, the elevated portion would be around 4.1km along with 3.5km long tunnel, while 31 BRT stations will be constructed with an average distance of 922 meters between two stations.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017