PESHAWAR: The development authority of the provincial capital on Sunday denied that any further loans had been taken to complete work on the mass transit project in the city.
In a statement issued by a media official of the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) on Sunday, confirmed that administrative approval for an extra Rs2.7 to Rs3 billion has been granted to complete the Bus Rapid Transit project (BRT) but clarified that the approval does not mean an escalation in the cost of the project.
The official further clarified that the reported increase is the result of the hike in the exchange rate to the United States dollar against the rupee which necessitated a revision in the cost of the scheme. The US dollar was at Rs106 [when the project was approved] and to the current exchange rate was RS156,” the official explained, adding that the cost of the dollar had increased by Rs50.
The official further argued that the un-utilized $60 million for the programme translate into savings of about Rs3.6 billion.
“Since we cannot utilize any amount over and above the approved amount of Rs66 billion, therefore the Planning and Development Department was informed that the scheme will need to be revised to enable the executing agency to utilize the money which has been saved,” the official said.
There will neither be any additional loan required nor shall the provincial exchequer bear any additional burden in this regard, the official clarified.
“It is clear that there is no increase in the cost of the BRT project rather it is merely a proposal for the revision of the scheme to regularise the matter.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2019.