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Planning Commission defers revised PC-I for BRT project

Peshawar

July 21, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Planning Commission has deferred the revised PC-I of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project seeking approval of Rs20 billion to meet the escalated estimates, official sources said.

The decision to defer the PC-I was taken at a meeting held in the Planning Commission where the officials of the Asian Development Bank and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government officials were present.

The decision came just two days before the Peshawar High Court’s verdict sending the BRT to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for an inquiry into the project.

An official privy to the meeting said the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) failed to meet certain standards in the project. The official said PDA had not worked out the engineering estimates for variations in design and additional scope of work.

Besides, the break-up of the cost for the additional Rs20 billion being sought for the project was not provided to the Planning Commission.

The provincial Planning and Development (P&D) Department, he said, had also requested the same information from the PDA. However, the required information wasn’t provided to the provincial P&D Department.

He added that the Planning Commission raised a query that the original PC-I was approved on the basis of detailed engineering design estimates and how was the increase of 38 percent in the revised PC-I estimated.

Another query from the Planning Commission, he said, was that the original fuel type for the BRT buses was diesel, then how the provincial government decided to procure diesel-hybrid buses on the directives of the former chief minister.

Also, the revised PC-I for the change in the specifications of vehicles has not been presented to the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) before the launch of the international tender for the procurement of buses.

The Planning Commission also observed that it had sought from the PDA earlier that the PC-I should have been presented to the Board of Directors (BoD) of KPUMA and Trans Peshawar for authorization. It noted that PDA didn’t do the needful.

The official said the canopies of BRT stations where the roof material of aluminium has been replaced with corrugated iron sheets was also discussed. He noted that it would have reduced the BRT stations cost by at least Rs1 billion.

When contacted, the director general (DG) of the PDA, Israrul Haq said that detailed cost estimates for the entire scope of work in five volumes incorporated in the PC-1 had been submitted to the Planning Commission.

He said the break-down of enhanced cost of Rs18.606 billion (not Rs20 billion) has been provided to the Planning Commission along with the detailed scope and justification.

He pointed out that the original PC-I submitted to the Planning Commission had an estimated cost of Rs57 billion that included contingent provision of 19 percent to cater for the cost variation in the quantum of work during detailed engineering design, but the PC-I of Rs49 billion was approved.

Proper justification for cost escalation has been provided to the Planning Commission in writing and during pre-CDWP meetings, he said. The TMTD is the sponsoring agency of the project and PDA role is limited to execution of infrastructure component of the project, he argued.

He said that after technical evaluation the street-lights of Phillips are being installed because of past experience.

He said the corrugated sheets have been proposed for the roofs of the bus stations. He noted that the bus stations contract has been awarded to the lowest bidders.

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