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Wednesday December 08, 2021

BRT is a test case for proving transparency: SC

March 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is a test case of proving transparency, fair competition as well as auditing through reliable persons.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the appeals filed by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), challenging the order, passed by Peshawar High Court (PHC) directing the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to conduct an inquiry into different aspects of the BRT Project.

The court maintained its interim order, passed last month, halting the investigation being conducted by the FIA in the alleged irregularities in the instant project.

The court directed one of the petitioners Adnan Afridi either to hire his counsel or make preparation for arguing before it on the next date of hearing besides submitting his reply in response of the reply submitted by the provincial government. The court after adjourning the matter for one month ruled that its earlier order halting the investigation being conducted by the FIA in the alleged irregularities in the project will remain intact.

The court asked Adnan Afridi to submit as to how he could be compensated if his house is being affected due to the project.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial while addressing Adnan Afridi said that if the court starts compensating him, the whole city will then approach the court for their grievance

“The project relates to a collective public interest wherein sacrifice has to be given on individual basis,” Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed observed that no public project could be accomplished if the plea of the petitioner was accepted.

Counsel for the provincial government told the court that the project will be completed by July 31, 2020 as per new PC-1, adding that in view of changing in the design of the project, another track of two kilometres was constructed while both sides of the track have been expanded.

“Due to this the cost of the project jacked up from Rs49 billion to Rs66.4 billion, the counsel contended.

To a court query, the counsel for the provincial government informed that the 85 percent of the funds has been provided by the Asian Development Bank while 15 percent is given by the provincial government.