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February 21, 2020

PDA seeks Rs 4.28b for BRT project

National

February 21, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Cantonment Board has refused to allow Bus Rapid Transit project operation in the cantonment areas till the clearance of outstanding dues of Rs3.24 billion rupees.

Meanwhile, The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) has sent a request to the provincial government for additional funds of Rs 4.28 billion for the completion of the BRT project on a fast-track basis.

It would enhance the project cost from the existing Rs66.3 billion to over Rs71 billion. However, it would cross the figure of Rs 75 billion after payments to the Cantonment Board.

Sources confirmed that the decision was taken at the highest level that if payments are not released, BRT buses would not be allowed to operate in 7.2 kilometres (Peshawar Cantonment area), which connects city with Hayatabad.

“The PDA was sent several reminders but they did not respond. The authority has been continuously violating the agreement and we have no option but to stop them using the Cantonment area. We will not allow them to operate until and unless payment were released accordingly”, an official told this correspondent on condition of anonymity.

According to documents available with this scribe, the Cantonment Board Peshawar sent a notice to the PDA on February, 10, 2020 regarding violation of an agreement signed on November, 22, 2017. It was pointed out that under Clause-3 of the agreement, the PDA will pay cost of land used for the BRT project. During the course of construction of Reach 2, the PDA acquired/utilized the land of Peshawar Cantonment Board. The amount of cost of land was agreed by both departments, but the PDA had paid only 400 million as token premium while the outstanding balance of 3,241 million rupees is still payable by the PDA.

The Cantonment Board said the PDA is constructing a commercial parking plaza at Dabgari Garden and the amount of commercialization charges comes to Rs 270.916 million which is also pending. Clause-5 stated: “Since execution of the project shall disturb the routine affairs of the CBP including municipal functions/duties, the PDA shall pay Rs 100,000 per day as distress charges with effect from the date of the signing of this agreement till completion of the project”.