Pakistan News

CM orders inquiry into delay in bus service’s launch

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Saturday ordered an inquiry to ascertain causes for delay in the completion of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit project and fix responsibility.

The development comes a day after the provincial government indefinitely put off the launch of the bus service, which was scheduled to be launched on March 23.

A statement issued here said the chief minister had directed the Provincial Inspection Team (PIT) to investigate the delay in the BRT project’s completion and fix responsibility.

It added that Mr Mahmood had sought the probe report ‘as soon as possible’ for action against those responsible for the delay.

Promises action against those responsible for it

The chief minister said the delay in the project’s completion had compounded the problems of the residents of the city and therefore, he won’t tolerate any further delay in that respect.

He said the practice of changing deadlines should come to an end and that the project should be completed immediately.

Mr Mahmood said not only should the project be completed on time but the standard of its construction should also be maintained.

He said the government wouldn’t make any compromise on the quality of the project.

The chief minister warned project managers against seeking further extension in the project’s deadline.

“The BRT project managers should strive to work honestly to complete the project and prove themselves to be responsible,” the statement quoted Mr Mahmood as saying.

The chief minister had earlier announced that if the project managers failed to launch the bus service on March 23, he would sack them.

Also, he left a recent meeting in a huff after learning that it was not possible to complete the bus project on time as 29 of the total 30 bus stations were incomplete, while only 20 of the total 220 buses had reached the city.

The bus service, whose launch was scheduled for April 20 last year, has not only missed several deadlines but it has also faced cost overrun of more than Rs17 billion.

Work on the project was launched on Oct 20, 2017, by the then chief minister, Pervez Khattak, who set an unrealistic six-month deadline for its completion.

After the first deadline was missed, the Peshawar Development Authority, which is the contracting agency, and transport and mass transit department together, set several deadlines over a period of year, which all were missed due to the nature of work on the project.

After the first deadline passed, the bus service’s launch was rescheduled to May 20, June 30 and Dec 31, 2018, and March 23, 2019.

However, after the failure of the project’s managers to meet the latest deadline KP government didn’t announce the new deadline.

On the other hand, the project’s cost has surged to Rs66 billion from the initial Rs49 billion due to the frequent design changes.

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