CM turns down proposal about partial launch of Peshawar bus service

Updated 09 Jul 2020

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The chief minister tasked the additional chief secretary to review progress on completion of the project by holding daily meetings of all the relevant departments. — DawnNewsTV/File
The chief minister tasked the additional chief secretary to review progress on completion of the project by holding daily meetings of all the relevant departments. — DawnNewsTV/File

PESHAWAR: The non-completion of multi-billion rupees Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar Project has irritated Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, who on Wednesday warned relevant officers of serious action if the project was further delayed.

“The chief minister made it clear to all the relevant quarters that any further delay in completion of the project would not be tolerated. In case of any further delay, stern action will be initiated against the responsible ones and no one would be spared,” said an official statement quoting Mahmood Khan.

He turned down a proposal of ‘partial opening’ of the project.

The statement said that a high level meeting discussed progress on the completion of BRT project here on Wednesday with chief minister in the chair. The meeting was given a detailed presentation on the progress so far made on the project.

Advisor to Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir, Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, Additional Chief Secretary Shakil Qadir Khan, administrative secretaries of the relevant departments and officials of Peshawar Development Authority and TransPeshawar attended the meeting.

Mahmood warns of action if BRT project further delayed

The project was launched in October 2017. Initially it was scheduled to be commissioned within in record six months period. PDA, the executing agency, however, failed to meet multiple deadlines set for its inauguration apparently due to changes and flaws in its designs.

After that the project managers kept changing the launching dates as a result its cost jumped to Rs70.7 billion from Rs49 billion.

A senior official had confided to Dawn last month that Asian Development Bank-funded project would be ready for formal inauguration on July 1 because civil work was already completed and installation of intelligent transport system was likely to be ready by June 25. Test runs of the buses, imported from China, on the BRT track has already begun.

The statement said that the meeting was informed that work on all the reaches of the BRT corridor was in final stages and finishing works were in full swing whereas test run of buses on the main corridor was started.

Relevant officials did not give deadline for the final launching of the bus services. The chief minister on this occasion termed BRT as a flagship project of the PTI government and directed the high ups of all the departments and entities concerned for result-oriented steps to fulfil their part of responsibility on war footings in order to ensure completion of the project without any further delay.

The statement said that Mahmood Khan straight away rejected the proposal for partial inauguration of the project and made it clear that the entire project would be inaugurated once only. He directed all the quarters concerned to ensure 100 per cent completion of the project.

The chief minister tasked the additional chief secretary to review progress on completion of the project by holding daily meetings of all the relevant departments so that formal inauguration of the project could be made possible without further delay.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020