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June 24, 2021

Consultant identifies around 4,887 defects in Peshawar BRT

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) has signed a descoping agreement with six subcontractors to complete the remaining work of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar. Two contractors have started work on reach one and other contractors will start work soon.

Similarly, the project consultant has identified around 4,887 discrepancies/defects in the already-completed 27km BRT route and 31 stations. The PDA has sent a summary to the provincial government to relax KPPRA rules and allow the PDA to rectify the shortcomings without tendering process.

A controversy had arisen over the remaining work of the Bus Rapid Transit in Peshawar in 2021when the JV Chinese and local contractors had refused to continue work on the BRT corridor and three mega shopping plazas (depots) worth Rs 10 billion. The construction work on all three depots is stalled for months. The contractor has also refused to rectify the discrepancies in the main route and stations. However, the Peshawar Development Authority has decided to replace the JV contractors to complete the remaining work of the PTI flagship project. The Asian Development Bank has approved the assignment agreement to hand over the remaining work to subcontractors.

Director-General Peshawar Development Authority Ammara Khan while confirming the development said the consultant has identified at least 4,887 defects in the main route and stations and the issue was discussed in a board meeting chaired by the chief minister KP. The contractor was asked to rectify the defects but they refused. “We have signed a descoping agreement with six contractors to complete the remaining work of the six packages including three reaches and three depots. These contractors will also rectify the 4,887 defects of the BRT but we will not pay them any additional amount. The PDA will deduct the repair charges from the Rs 2.3 billion arrears of the main contractor,” she said.

Ammara Khan said the issue has now been amicably resolved and further additional works will be executed by the subcontractors through an assignment contract on the same rates. All the subcontractors have already worked with the main contractor. The DG said the PDA has sent a summary to the provincial cabinet to relax KPPRA rules and allow the department to work on these shortcomings without following the tendering process. These are shortcomings of the existing work, which cannot be given by an assignment agreement. Two contractors have started work on packages one and two. All performance guarantees will be verified before the work order to avoid any confusion.

A PDA source told this scribe that the JV contractors had serious reservations on rates of different additional items and nonpayment of their huge dues of Rs 5.183 billion and retrenchment of the amount of Rs 3.5 billion. They had informed the PDA that they have already executed additional works over and above the scope of their contract by 37.6pc and execution of additional works is beyond their contractual obligations.

According to the data available with the scribe, three mega plazas at Chamkani, Dabgari, and Hayatabad are part of the BRT project. The cost of three buildings in PC-1 estimated at Rs 10.5 billion and around Rs 6.6 billion has already been paid to the contractor. The initial cost of the Peshawar BRT was Rs 49.345 billion which was subsequently revised to Rs 66.437 billion and got approved by the ECNEC on November 14, 2018. The construction work of the BRT corridor and other civil works were completed under six contract packages.

A PDA official confirmed that the Chamkani plaza is almost completed and only a park and ride facility is missing and around 63 per cent of work on the Dabgari plaza has been completed while 37 per cent of work is still pending. Similarly, the Hayatabad plaza has 45 per cent of works left while 55 per cent has been completed.

The joint venture of three Chinese and one Pakistani company Sichuan Province Geological Engineering Complex (SGEC), China Railway 21st Bureau Group (CR21G), ANHUI Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd (ANHUI) and Maqbool limited had participated in the bidding process of different packages and won the contracts.