PESHAWAR -  Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak on Monday directed authorities to complete the rapid bus transit system strictly within six months.

The Chief Minister expressed resentment over certain tendering documents in which the period of completion of the project was mentioned as eight months instead of six months.

He directed the officials to strictly complete project within six months period or even earlier. He also directed for imposing heavy fines on responsible persons in case of any delay in this regard.

He issued these directives during a presentation of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Urban Mobility Authority.

On this occasion, the bus branding, logo (slogans) and other such details were approved.

Besides a mission of Asian Development Bank (ADB) led by Regional Director, was attended by Senior Minister Sikandar Sherpao, Minister Transport Shah Muhammad Wazir, Focal Person for Peshawar Mega Projects Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, District Nazim Peshawar Arbab Asim Khan, Chairman Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell Dilroz Khan, Chief Secretary Abid Saeed, ACS Azam Khan, Administrative Secretaries, high ups of the concerned departments and organisations.

The Chief Minister agreed in principle with the request of the ADB mission for extending the last date of bidding of reach one and three of the project from June 19 to June 29 due to certain technical reasons.

He, however, made it clear that the project must be completed within the specified period or earlier according to international criteria.

He was told that the ADB was providing Rs 41.88 billion for the project as compared to the provincial share of Rs 7.46 billion.

Khattak asked the concerned consultants to complete all the stations of the bus transit in attractive but same designs with state of the art architecture. It may be mentioned that three consultants have been appointed for the project who have been assigned separate sections of coordination, operation design, and business model and construction plan.

The Chief Minister asked them to work round the clock for completing the project and ensuring facilitation of public and smooth passage of traffic during construction work.

Khattak on recommendation of the ADB also agreed to construct main transit route in strips wherein the middle one meter strip would be kept open for grass while remaining 3.5 meter strips on both sides would consist of metalled slates.

He was told that such stripped route was used successfully in 10 countries of the world that besides reducing construction cost also added to the beauty of the corridor.

The Chief Minister said that hiring of necessary staff required for construction work of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) had been started.

The project has four packages, the first starts from the main bus terminal Chamkani to Qila Balahisar, the second towards Aman Chowk, the third ends at Hayatabad while the fourth includes construction of shopping plazas and other commercial buildings.

The Chief Minister was told that 450 air-conditioned buses would ply at the transit route whose fares would be much economical for the commuters.

The Chief Minister directed that minor changes in original design of the route should not hinder the timely completion of the project.

He directed for accelerated efforts for timely implementation and completion of the project, directing expeditious completion of the project, stating he would not allow any delay.

He agreed to the third party validation of the original design prepared by Asian Development Bank. The meeting was briefed about the process of implementation with special reference to the engineering designs, colour combination, the width and length and the proposed widening of the bus stations.

The meeting was also briefed about the project’s uniqueness as being the direct service operational model with main corridors length as 26 kilometres including the 6 kilometres elevated and 5 kilometres tunnel having 32 bus stations and integrating 68 kilometres feeding routes.

The Chief Minister approved 150 shelters at the feeder routes, six-storey commercial and parking plazas, bike sharing system, allied infrastructure for pedestrians and other associated features as part of the project.

The Chief Minister drew a comparison between Peshawar Rapid Bus Transit with those in Punjab and Islamabad, adding, that it would be a sustainable project generating resources and would become a self-sustaining and profitable project that would make it unique in features and facilities the world over. It would be the first ever golden standard third generation bus rapid system and its 26 kilometres long main corridor would cost Rs 33 billion. 

Khattak was told that Peshawar’s transit system would cost Rs 1.27 billion per kilometre as compared to Multan Metro’s per kilometre cost of Rs 1.56 billion. Peshawar Rapid Bus Transit cost is 23 per cent lesser than the Multan Metro. Islamabad Metro’s cost is Rs 2.155 billion per kilometre and is 70 per cent higher than the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit and Lahore Metro’s per kilometre cost is Rs 2.22 billion and 75 per cent higher than Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit, he was told.

The Chief Minister also approved Rs 193 million for compensating people affected by the project.  He directed for shifting and relocating utilities on fast track from the main corridor.

He also directed to raise greenery on main corridor. Khattak also approved the architectural plan and the colour combination of the BRT and added that the commercial activities that were part of the project would make the project self sustaining and profitable.  He directed the police, irrigation and other departments to identify their responsibilities and ensure that they have done it within time.

Khattak directed to hire required number of officials for the implantation phase of the project that should be followed by hiring of operational personnel.

He directed to prepare a financial model by the end of July, adding, that the financial model should also identify the way out for operational cost and the return of the principal amount, adding, that it would be a zero level subsidised project and directed to prepare the complete feasibility before May 15. The Chief Minister while agreeing to other prerequisites of the projects, directed to give final touches to the PC 1 of the project and send it for CDWP for clearance, adding, that he would personally talk to the relevant quarters for its approval. Khattak also okayed construction plan of shopping and parking plazas, overall traffic diversion plan and the dates of the tendering. The meeting approved relocation of utilities and widening of corridor and 31 bus stations for BRT.  The Chief Minister directed to strengthen the existing infrastructure that might be partially shared by the BRT.

He also okayed the transfer of land in Hayatabad, Dabgari Garden etc.

He directed to acquire land of 117 kanal in the main bus terminal at Chamkani out of the total 900 kanals of land identified for the main bus terminal at Chamkani.

 

 

Our Staff Reporter