PESHAWAR: Another deadline of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project will pass on March 23 without opening of the corridor which has been under construction since 2017.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan said that though there is significant progress on BRT, yet some work is pending, for example bus stations. “Therefore, I have decided not to open an incomplete project,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has also advised him not to inaugurate an incomplete project for political gains that goes against the PTI agenda for real change, he added.
Chief Minister Mahmood said that PTI does not believe in “takhti” or plaque politics, “therefore we will inaugurate this project once the corridor is available for public use.”
The people of Peshawar have been suffering traffic chaos ever since swaths of the city roads were dug up for the project, whereas current rains caused urban flood.
“I understand that the citizens of Peshawar have suffered inconvenience, and I feel your pain. We are working hard to solve it. However, this project is very important for the city of Peshawar. It’s the biggest investment ever made by any government for the city of Peshawar,” CM remarked.
Mahmood claimed that working class people will travel in the BRT buses. “It is for working class people, not the rich. And it has a unique design that will cover not just the corridor, but many off-corridor routes.”
He said once complete, this project will help change the face of Peshawar into a modern city.
Mahmood t said he has directed to investigate the recent issues with drainage and to fix them and of course to complete the work in the corridor and open it up for the public as soon as possible.
The chief minister said that he is also issuing a final warning to all the people involved in making this. They have to get their act together. The only reason he is not dismissing them, is because they have to complete what they committed. He warned not test the patience of the people of this city.
Mahmood said that he believes that BRT is a unique project. “We will make this a successful project. It will give the poor people of this city a cheap transport. It will help develop the city infrastructure and boost the city economy and create jobs. When this is completed, people will see a better, more beautiful Peshawar,” he concluded.
K-P Information Shaulat Yousufzai in another disaster control statement said that rain delayed work due to which government could not launch it on given deadline.
“It was raining all through the month, making it impossible to keep the pace of work,” he said.
Regarding the March 23 deadline, he said this date had been announced as a soft launch. “Civil work of BRT has been completed and we gave test-run to one of the buses on the route on Friday,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2019.