PM Imran says he was wrong about the Peshawar BRT project
PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday inaugurated the much-awaited Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and admitted that his reservations about it have now proven wrong.
PM Imran along with KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan inaugurated the project at Chamkani Depot. Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and other senior officials were also present at the occasion.
“I had reservations about the project when it was launched but Pervez Khattak had faith in it. Pervez Khattak was right I was wrong,” said PM Imran Khan at the inauguration of the project.
PM Imran also declared the Peshwar BRT project as the “best metro bus project in Pakistan.”
He said that the project will benefit Peshawar as it will stop the city’s main artery from “choking”, adding that it will also reduce pollution as cars will no longer be stuck in traffic.
“This is a modern transport system for Peshawar,” he said. “In the first phase of development, it was necessary to introduce a modern transport system.”
He said the fare is affordable for common people and students.
The premier also lauded the KP government for the introduction of the hybrid buses in the project which he said will reduce the pollution levels in Peshawar.
‘Third-generation technology system’
Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information and Local Government Kamran Bangash told the media on Wednesday that 360 bicycles for both men and women have been arranged, besides buses, on the 27km bus rapid transit (BRT) track.
Bangash added that the project would provide relief to people in the provincial capital in terms of better transport. Speaking about the details of the project, Bangash said the ZU-BRT uses a third-generation technology system, which will benefit the passengers.
He added options of lifting and bus services will be provided for special persons as well.
“The opening of the BRT route would stop rickshaws without permits. Buses and wagons are being also phased out from the roads and Mazda bus drivers and wagon drivers, who can operate BRT buses, have also been integrated into the service,” he added.
Bangash added that BRT buses were environmental-friendly and comfortable.
Rs70 billion BRT project
The Rs70 billion BRT project consists of a 27.5km main track and 31 stations while the length of the feeder routes is 62km and has 146 stops. The main track is connected to seven different areas of the city so that the people can travel from their areas in small buses to reach the main route. Three mega commercial plazas would be completed in June 2021, but the bus parking areas are ready.
Official documents have estimated that the initial estimate for the BRT project was Rs49.43 billion, however, the cost of the revised PC-1 had increased to Rs66.43 billion, which was further increased to Rs70 billion.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and AFD had provided loans amounting to $593 million for the project, while the remaining amount was provided by the provincial government.
The estimated cost of BRT's civil work (27km track and stations), depots and ITS has increased from Rs32,863 million to Rs52,446 million.
Expenditure on parking plazas and off corridor facilities has increased from Rs95 million to Rs320 million. The bike-sharing facility cost Rs132 million whereas the ADB's financial charges, supervision cost and advertisement expenditures have increased from Rs493 million to Rs1,156 million.