White elephant? Cost on BRT Peshawar exceeds Rs.70 billion
The Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project is proving to be a white elephant for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as its cost has increased by another Rs4.2 billion taking the project’s total cost to Rs70.7 billion.
The recent increase in the project’s cost has come as result of the authorities decision to revise the PC-I for the second time in around 15 months. This decision was taken in a meeting on February 17 under the chair of CM Mehmood Khan.
The meeting was attended by finance minister ,Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Additional Chief Secretary, Shakeel Qadir Khan, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Shahab Ali Shah, Peshawar Development Authority Director General, Syed Zafar Ali Shah and other relevant officials.
According to details, the additional funds will be spent on Reach I from Chamkani to Firdous Chowk and Reach III from Gora Qabristan to Karkhano Market. The costs of Reach I and Reach III have gone up by Rs981 million and Rs1.5 billion respectively.
Furthermore, another significant increase of RS 1.4 billion in the costs of bus depots, park and ride and TransPeshawar office has also been witnessed. Moreover, the consultant supervision cost has also gone up by Rs 1.3 billion.
The Peshawar Electric Supply Company will be paid Rs30 million for the relocation of utilities. While, Rs50 million will be allocated for land acquisition for Amn Chowk depots, Rs100 million for PDA project implementation unit, and Rs110 million for social resettlement cost.
Both Pakistan Tehreek E Insaf’s federal and provincial governments have been under fire for the delay in the project. Work on the BRT started in October 2017 and was announced by the then CM KPK that it would be completed in 6 months.
The project is still under construction with no confirmed date of its completion. However, provincial minister for Information, Shaukat Yousafzai, has announced that it would be completed by March this year.
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