Chief Minister Pervez Khattak asked the federal government to lease surplus land belonging to Pakistan Railways along the railway track from Chamkani to Hayatabad for the Mass Transit Transport Service. According to a handout issued Monday, he also deemed a metro bus system unfeasible for Peshawar.
Khattak floated a new proposal to connect the four districts of Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera and Mardan. This would entail a fast track railway system by utilizing the existing redundant railway track, added the statement
A survey for feasibility of the proposed project would begin soon, said Khattak. He said the proposed fast track rail service would be the best option for rapid and economical transport for commuters in the four districts.
The CM said the provincial government had prepared a feasibility report of the 25-kilometre-long Chamkani-Hayatabad Mass Transit Project, which would cost about Rs10 to 12 billion. He said the provincial government has approached the federal government time and time again to acquire the Railways’ land on lease but the federal government failed to respond properly.
“If federal government agrees, the provincial government will complete the proposed project from its own resources,” he added.
Ruling out any possibility to consider a metro bus project for Peshawar, he said the K-P government cannot afford the heavy cost of over Rs45 billion in addition to the recurring cost of a Rs4 to 5 billion subsidy every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.