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August 11, 2020

All set to launch Peshawar BRT

Top Story

August 11, 2020

PESHAWAR: All is set for the launching of much-awaited flagship project of the PTI government - Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

The provincial government is likely to inaugurate the project on August 14, but Chief Minister Mahmood Khan will formally announce the exact date after a final meeting today (Tuesday). Sources have confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan is very much interested to inaugurate the project, but the Prime Minister's House has not yet confirmed his availability.

Around Rs 70 billion BRT project consists of 27.5km main track and 31 stations while the length of feeder routes is 62km with 146 stops. The main track is connected to seven different areas of the city so that the people can travel from their areas in small buses to reach the main route. About 60,000 Zu travelling cards have been sold in just four days. Three mega commercial plazas would be completed in June 2021, but the bus parking areas are ready.

The PDA has already handed over the route and stations to Trans Peshawar which has already completed installation of Intelligence Ticking System (ITS).

According to official documents, the initial estimate for the BRT project was Rs49.43 billion, but the cost of the revised PC-1 had increased to Rs66.43 billion, which was further increased to Rs 70 billion. The Asian Development Bank and AFD had provided $593 million loan for the project, while the remaining amount was provided by the provincial government.

The estimated cost of BRT's civil work (27km track and stations), depots and ITS has increased from Rs32,863 million to Rs52,446 million. Expenditure on parking plazas and off corridor facilities has increased from Rs 95 million to Rs320 million. Bike sharing facility has cost Rs132 million. ADB's financial charges, supervision cost and advertisement expenditures have increased from Rs493 million to Rs1,156 million.

The cost of purchasing and dismantling the old buses in the city has increased from Rs 1,068 million to Rs 1,120 million. An amount of Rs 1,553 million was earmarked for PIU-Trans Peshawar and KPUMA, but the expenditure of these departments was reduced to Rs 800 million. Rs 1,680 million were earmarked for transfer of power, gas and telephone facilities, but it was reduced to Rs1,500 million.

Amount for the purchase of land was reduced from Rs2,213 million to Rs1,620 million. An amount of Rs7,875 million was allocated for the purchase of new busses which was decreased to Rs7,475 million. As per ADB directives, Rs1,375 million were allocated for contingencies.

Director General Peshawar Development Authority Zafar Ali Shah told Jang that the project has total cost of around Rs70 billion, which was increased due to increase in work scope, but the project is ready and can be started at any time. He said that construction of commercial plazas was started late having completion date of June 2021, but these plazas will not affect the BRT operation. The construction of the plazas will generate millions of rupees in the form of monthly rent for Trans Peshawar.

"BRT consists of 27km track and 31 stations while the length of feeder routes is 62 km in which 146 stops have been made to facilitate the people across the city", he added. Chief Executive Officer of Trans Peshawar Fayyaz Khan said that 220 buses for BRT have already reached Peshawar. He said that 92 buses of 18 meters will run on the main route while 128 small buses will run on seven feeder routes. "A private company has won the contract to run the operation and the trial and testing has already going on for the last one month. Routes and stations are also being monitored by 750 cameras", he said. The CEO further said about 300,000 passengers will travel in BRT buses daily for which all arrangements have been completed. After receiving the green signal from the government, the buses will start operating. He said that initially the number of passengers may decrease, which will gradually increase.

It may be recalled that the Bus Rapid Transit project was inaugurated in October 2017 by the then chief minister Pervaiz Khattak and he had announced to complete the project in six months. However, it is completed in three years.