PESHAWAR: (Web Desk) Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Thursday has inaugurated flagship project of the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
According to details, the PM was briefed over the traveling facilities which will be provided to the passengers under this project.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by federal and provincial ministers, advisers and special assistants, and other senior government officials.
Earlier in the day, the premier had arrived in Khyber and launched ‘Ehsas Nashonuma’ Program while he also planted a sapling and administered polio vaccine drops to a child.
BRT will bring revolution in the provincial capital’s transport system as approximately 340,000 common people will enjoy a safe, comfortable and affordable travel in luxury buses on daily basis.
The BRT is a 27.5 kilometer-long main corridor track with 31 stations, besides seven feeder routes of total 62 kilometers with 146 stops to facilitate hundreds of thousands of passengers every day.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated graft proceedings over alleged financial and administrative irregularities in Peshawar BRT project.
The two-member team of the accountability body conducted raids at main offices of PDA and BRT and confiscated all record pertaining to the mega-project.
The proceedings were initiated following whooping hike in the cost of the project. With 40pc increase, the cost surged to Rs69.3 bln from the initial Rs49.3 bln. The project was also facing delay.
Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth had issued a detailed verdict of the BRT project in which the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was directed to initiate inquiry.
The decision read,”PTI government launched the BRT project without vision and planning. Why was the CEO of Trans Peshawar removed from his post?”
“BRT contract was given to a blacklisted company in Punjab. What was the need for such a large loan for the project?” the decision stated.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government had challenged with the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) an order of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) regarding investigation into the alleged corruption and irregularities in the Peshawar BRT project.
The petitions pleaded with the court to suspend the PHC’s order, and to prevent the FIA from investigation into the BRT project.
Supreme Court was further asked to nullify the decision of the PHC and that the FIA should be stopped from further inquiry before the top court gives its ruling on the petitions.
Supreme Court had extended the stay order which barred the FIA to probe the Peshawar BRT project.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal and including Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Qazi Amin, conducted hearing of the case.
Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal remarked that the apex court will examine the process under which the construction contract was granted. “The court does not want to keep the case under stay order for long.
“We have to analyze specific things as judiciary including repeatedly redesigning the project on public money, delay in its completion, mistakes committed in it and transparency.
“Is there any conflict of interests in the BRT project? Was it launched without groundwork? Has the provincial regime spent billions of rupees on an incomplete project?” The court adjourned the case hearing for an indefinite period over request by the KP government counsel.