PESHAWAR: The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on Saturday handed over 14 pink buses to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
A statement issued here said that the Japan government had donated these buses under its general assistance to UNOPS and the same were handed over to the KP government in a ceremony which took place at the Chief Minister House.
Last week, the KP government’s insistence on running the pink buses on the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit route had caused an upheaval, leading to the resignation of TransPeshawar board of directors’ chairman, manger operations and chief financial officer. TransPehsawar board chairman Javed Iqbal in his resignation noted that it would place an unsustainable financial and manpower burden on the company and ran the risk of jeopardising the BRT operations.
CM says buses to be run in Mardan, Abbottabad
It was not clear yet whether the KP government was going to run the buses in Peshawar or not.
The statement said that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak thanked that Japan government and UNOPS for their assistance and said that these buses would be operated under the mass transit programme to specifically cater to the needs of female passengers in Mardan and Abbottabad cities.
“These buses have been designed in accordance with the requirements set forth by UNOPS,” it said, adding the buses would be donated to various government departments and it would be first of its kind operation to facilitate women in the province.
Sources told Dawn that the pink buses project was signed by Road Transport Corporation, successors of the now-defunct Government Transport Service. They said that RTC still ran a bus stand in Peshawar.
The sources said that the pink buses project was launched with the idea that RTC would be involved in bus operations and the corporation signed the contract as well with UNOPS. They said that these buses could also be sublet to a private operator by RTC.
The sources said that initially these buses were meant for Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad, but after approval of BRT it was decided to run the buses only in Mardan and Abbottabad.
They said that pink buses routes were identified by the deputy commissioners.
Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2018