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January 8, 2020

Govt avoids answering opposition’s questions about BRT in KP Assembly


January 8, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday once again avoided providing details on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Peshawar as the opposition parties claimed that one of the construction firms had been black-listed in Punjab.

In response to a question raised by Pakistan People’s Party woman MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Sultan Mohammad Khan said the contract of the foreign-funded mega project BRT had been a joint venture of the Pakistani and Chinese firms, working on the BRT in three different portions and phases.

“The minister for transport will be in a better position to provide details about the BRT and its construction firms but it is one of the most transparent projects in Pakistan,” he said and added that the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) had been unaware of any deal between National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and one of the construction firms.

Opposition members, including Opposition Leader Akram Khan Durrani demanded the speaker to refer the matter to the House Standing Committee or Public Accounts Committee as they claimed that one of the construction companies of the project had provided fake performance certificate from a foreign bank and had been black-listed for its poor work in Punjab. Nighat Yasmin Orakzai claimed that the PTI government was not sharing information about the BRT project, which was supposed to be completed within six months at a cost of Rs52 billion.

“Even after two years’, the project has been incomplete while more than Rs100 billion have been spent on it,” she said and added that construction work on the project had adversely affected traffic system in the city for the last two years.

The question was kept pending as the opposition parties insisted to refer it to the House Standing Committee. Speaker Mushtaq Ghani said the transport minister would respond to the question after taking the oath of his ministry.

Meanwhile, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Higher Education Mian Khaleeq-ur-Rehman ordered an inquiry into the appointment of vice-chancellor of Khyber Medical University, Peshawar for having dual nationality.

In response to the call-attention notice, Mian Khaleeq-ur-Rehman said that he had not taken charge of the ministry but he would try his level best to run the department ass per rules and regulations. The speaker, in his ruling, said that the incumbent vice-chancellor of the KMU could not perform his duty till completion of the inquiry.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly also approved a resolution, asking the federal government as well as the Sindh government to facilitate in registration thousands of the Pakhtuns and people from other provinces living in Karachi.

Sardar Yousuf in his resolution said that the Sindh government was not providing national identity cards to the people of other provinces, who were not permanent citizens of that province. The children of these people could neither get admissions in the educational institutions nor government jobs.

In another resolution, the provincial government was asked to establish Food Testing Standard Laboratory in the province to check the quality of the food items in restaurants and bazaars. PTI MPA Zeenat Bibi’s resolution was passed unanimously.

Similarly, MPA Shafeeq Sher in his resolution demanded facilities for the people of border towns at Ghulam Khan, Angoor Adda and Gorsel in the newly merged districts of the province.

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