PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has issued yet another deadline for completion of the much-delayed Bus Rapid Transit project, saying that it will now be operational by the end of current year.
Details available with Dawn show that currently 85 per cent work on the mega project’s main corridor and 65 per cent on bus depots and staging facility has been complete. The project’s main corridor and feeder routes are to complete by Oct 31, 2019, while Chamkani depot and Dabgari staging facility are expected to be complete by end of September.
However, Hayatabad bus depot is likely to be completed by March 2020.
The payments to contractors have already been made and currently there is no pending claim. The details also show that reservations of the Asian Development Bank, which is funding the project, over some aspects, including bus stations’ finishing, construction of staff toilets in bus stations, Kassel kerb, alignment channels, directional arrows, widening of sharp turns and other issues, have also been addressed.
A recent ADB mission to the project found that about 90 per cent of issues had been resolved, and allowed the Peshawar Development Authority to proceed further in all reaches.
The provincial government and the project’s executing agency, the PDA, had earlier promised opening the project, launched in Oct 2017, within six months on April 20, 2018. However, the deadline was missed. The project managers kept changing the launch dates from May 20 to June 30 to Dec 31 in 2018 to March 23, 2019. The project’s cost has also jumped to Rs68 billion from earlier Rs49 billion.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2019