PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project — the flagship project of the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government — is all set to be launched this week.
According to The News, the provincial government is likely to inaugurate the project on August 14, but Chief Minister Mahmood Khan will formally announce the exact date after holding a final meeting today (Tuesday) with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sources have added that the prime minister will inaugurate the project on August 13, Geo News reported.
The Rs70 billion BRT project consists of a 27.5km main track and 31 stations while the length of the feeder routes is 62km and has 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. Three mega commercial plazas would be completed in June 2021, but the bus parking areas are ready.
About 60,000 travelling cards have been sold in just four days. The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) has already handed over the route and stations to Trans Peshawar which has already completed installation of Intelligence Ticking System (ITS).
Official documents have estimated that the initial estimate for the BRT project was Rs49.43 billion, however, the cost of the revised PC-1 had increased to Rs66.43 billion, which was further increased to Rs70 billion.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) 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 Rs95 million to Rs320 million. Bike sharing facility has cost Rs132 million whereas the 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 Rs1,068 million to Rs1,120 million. An amount of Rs1,553 million was earmarked for PIU-Trans Peshawar and KPUMA, but the expenditure of these departments was reduced to Rs800 million. Rs1,680 million were earmarked for the 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 buses which was decreased to Rs7,475 million. As per ADB directives, Rs1,375 million were allocated for contingencies.
Director General PDA Zafar Ali Shah told Daily Jang that the project has a total cost of around Rs70 billion, which was increased due to as the scope of work was enhance. However, he went on to add that the project is ready and can be started at any time.
“The construction of commercial plazas was started late having completion date of June 2021, but these plazas will not affect the BRT operation,” he said. “The construction of the plazas will generate millions of rupees in the form of monthly rent for Trans Peshawar.”
He added, “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.”
According Trans Peshawar Chief Executive Officer Fayyaz Khan 220 buses for BRT have already arrived in the city.
“92 buses of 18 meters will run on the main route while 128 small buses will run on seven feeder routes,” he said. “A private company has won the contract to run the operation and the trial and testing has already been going on for the last one month. Routes and stations are also being monitored by 750 cameras.”
Khan added that 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, however, it will gradually increase in number.