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December 7, 2019

KP govt to move SC to stop FIA from probing BRT affairs


December 7, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to move the Supreme Court to stop the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from probing the 35 points of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

The government directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General Shumail Ahmad Butt to prepare a case for the apex court. The advocate general said that a case had been prepared that would be filed in the Supreme Court next week. The KP government has already got a stay order from the apex court in an inquiry into the BRT by the National Accountability Bureau.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is facing strong criticism for spending huge amount on a single project.

The so-called flagship project of the PTI government has dealt a severe blow to hundreds of businesses in the provincial capital. The traffic jams at various points on the University Road and other roads in Peshawar have become order of the day due to the delay in its completion.

The BRT project has also taken its toll on the popularity of the PTI as the government missed several deadlines in the last two years. In the last week of November, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed the FIA to conduct an inquiry into the 35 different points of the BRT project and submit a report within 45 days. A division bench of the PHC headed by Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth directed the FIA in writ petitions filed by different petitioners against the BRT.

The bench directed the FIA authorities to take action against the delinquents if they were found guilty. The petitioners during the hearings told the court that the project was initiated without any vision and plan.

They questioned if there was any need to take huge loans for the project. They also questioned as to why the project was approved without a proper feasibility.

The court had observed that such a huge amount spent on the BRT could have been used to complete projects in a number of sectors that would have changed the economic landscape of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It added that PTI government has concentrated loaned money in one city and this project may not bring a radical change in the lives of people.

The judgment stated that the total cost of 27.37 kilometres road project was estimated at Rs66.437 billion which meant Rs2.427 billion per kilometre. It also hinted at bottlenecks in the project that caused gridlocks on the roads in Peshawar.

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