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September 10, 2019

PDA claims BRT project cost not increased

National

September 10, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), the executing agency of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, said that the excess of Rs2.7 to Rs3 billion over the administrative approval did not mean the escalation of the project cost.

In a statement, it said there were reports that Rs3 billion had been approved as an escalation of the project cost, which is wrong.The PDA claimed that the reported increase was the result of the recent abnormal hike in dollar rate against Pakistani rupee, which necessitated a revision of the scheme to regularize the case.

It said that the US dollar was at the rate of 106 Pakistani rupees at the start of the project, while the present conversion rate is Rs156. “The increase of Rs50 per dollar for the un-utilised 60 million dollar at this stage results in a saving of about 3.6 billion of Pakistani rupee. Since we can’t utilize any amount over and above without the administrative approval,” PDA explained in the statement.

Therefore, it said the Planning and Development Department was informed that the scheme would need revision to enable the executing agency to utilise the saved amount in the project. The PDA claimed that approval had been sought for the saving amount on the unutilised amount of the project.

“There will neither be any additional loan required nor shall the provincial exchequer bear any additional burden in this regard,” PDA spokesman Muhammad Umair claimed.Given the above, it is clear that there is no increase in the cost of the BRT project involved rather it is merely a proposal of revision of the scheme to regularise the matter, he explained.

General Manager Contractors Col (r) Tariq Rajpoot said that delay in the BRT was due to changes and extension in various areas. He said that BRT Peshawar project is being prepared as per international standards.

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