BRT delay: PPP approaches NAB against ex-CM Pervaiz Khattak

Ishaq Khan

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has approached the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former chief minister Pervaiz Khattak over the long delay in Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, on Thursday.

According to details, the provincial leadership of PPP filed a reference with the NAB as it sought to become a party to the inquiry into the BRT fiasco.

PPP provincial president Mohammad Humayun Khan and general secretary Faisal Karim Kundi has issued a joint statement in this regard. They had demanded that the NAB file a corruption reference against Defense Minister Pervaiz Khattak as he was the chief minister when construction of the multibillion BRT project was started.

They added that the BRT was an unnecessary burden on the national exchequer and its poor management and long delays were creating difficulties for the residents.

PPP leaders appealed to the Supreme Court to look into the BRT records and order the arrest of those involved in the anomalies.

The party would take up the issue on all available forums if the NAB failed to take action, they said.

Earlier this month, a much-awaited inquiry report on the long-delayed BRT project released and it highlighted a multitude of technical errors, faulty design and inept planning that caused heavy losses to the exchequer.

The BRT project, hailed as a “world-class transport service” aimed at generating “greater economic activity and prosperity in the city” on its official website, was launched by former chief minister Pervaiz Khattak during his tenure.

Construction on the project began in October 2017, but work on the fixed-rail continues to this day.

The BRT line is a 26-kilometre east-west corridor in the city, designed to move thousands of passengers per day. Of the total 31 bus stations, 11 are still incomplete. Work on the three bus depots, at Chamkani, Hayatabad and Dabgari, is unfinished. Over 200 buses were to reach Peshawar. So far, only 21 have arrived from China.

During all of this, the cost of the corridor has shot up from Rs49 billion to Rs66 billion.