BRT and NAB’s investigations

Recently, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the media that it has kicked off a probe into the alleged malfeasance and irregularities in the lone mass transit project of the provincial capital commonly known as Peshawar BRT.

Peshawar Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System is the KP first and PTI’s government sole mass transit project initiated in the province in its eight year terms in office. The 27.5 kilometer long project with 31 station along with seven feeder routes was constructed the a consortium led by China Railway 21st Bureau Group Rs. 66 billion. There had been reports regarding alleged embezzlement and irregularities in construction of the mega project while Auditor General of Pakistan expressed serious reservations and accused the government of massive corruption of Rs. 2.77 billion along with overpayments of worth 17. 7 million by Project Implementation Unit to various government officials and entities. The AGP further revealed that the changes in design of the project increased its cost from Rs. 49 billion to Rs. 66 billions while adding additional loss of Rs. 17 billion to the national exchequer.

Historically, Pakistan People Party (PPP) filed a reference with NAB against former CM Pervaiz Khattak due to delay and alleged corruption in the BRT project. There had been massive hoe and cry regarding alleged corruption in the mega project but NAB was unable to lesson these allegations under former Chariman during the PTI government. After change of the government, the national graft watchdog came to senses from deep sleep and vowed to dig out all regularities and recover all fiscal losses.

Realistically, such policy is highly regretable that the national institutions do not act against law abuzers and corrupt elements if they belongs to sitting government due to certain apprehensions and initiate actions after change of regime. In fact, government servants and men in uniform are state employees and defender of the law instead of mere robots for ruling elite. The LEAs, financial watchdog and court must be free from political pressure and fullfil their duties without any fear in the interest of nation. Such strategies creates doubts about national institutions and portrays as a political victimization of the opponents. Although, the findings of the probe would illustrate the facts behind this scam but the nation wants to see its law enforcers upright and free from all ailments including corruption, polticial alligiance and self promotion.