Peshawar BRT: Report reveals irregularities worth billions

News Desk
August 19, 2022

Over Rs47 billion were spent without taking approval from the law department, says report

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Buses are seen parked at a terminal of the newly-built Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a rapid bus transit system running along an east-west corridor, during a test-run in Peshawar on August 5, 2020. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: An audit report showed irregularities worth billions of rupees in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project of Peshawar, Geo News reported.

According to a report, over Rs47 billion were spent without taking approval from the law department. It showed that a consultant was paid over Rs90 million as mobilisation advance. The report also stated that an amount of Rs21.13 million has not been recovered from the contractor yet.

“A suspicious amount of Rs3.6 million was made for petrol despite the suspension of work on BRT,” said the report, adding that the BRT management paid Rs310 million as dues to the contractor and there is no record of it.

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It added that about 122 trees were cut down near Dabgari Garden for the project. The trees worth Rs2.4 million were sold for Rs420,000. A Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) employee was illegally hired as a resettlement consultant, who continued to receive salaries from both BRT and PDA, said the report.

“The contractor was paid Rs50 million against rules without completing the construction work,” it added. According to the report, Rs7.3 million received as taxes have not been deposited in the national treasury. It added that a “controversial board” was paid Rs6 million related to the BRT project.

“The delays in the BRT project cost damages worth over Rs20 million while Rs300 million were paid to the consultants despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown,” added the report. Director General Peshawar Development Authority Fayaz Ali Shah, while talking to Geo News, said that the audit report is based on preliminary observations and it will be discussed at the relevant forum.

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