In the sprawling bustling city of Peshawar, known as the city of flowers, the construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has become a massive nuisance. The streets of the capital city of the Khyber Pakhtunwa province have been subjected for months to the erroneously delayed construction of BRT, leaving the rest of the city littered with the after-effects of road, air and noise pollution, which has created a blot on the its landscape and everyday life. Unbearable traffic congestion, road blocks and closure of alternative routes ending in long hours of commute time is how life so far in Peshawar, which is already included in one of the world’s top 20 most polluted cities, has changed.

Peshawar, a developing metropolis of KPK, desperately needed an effective and sustainable transport system. Yet the project was certainly poorly managed and ill-thought out, due to crippling mistakes in its route estimation, design and cost management. However, now that massive funds have been allocated, and the streets of Peshawar have been held at bay for a year, it is imperative that the BRT project be completed early.  For a developing Peshawar, it has a bane for economic activity and the business community as many traders have faced irreparable financial losses due to slow pace of work. If the government wants to scramble a victory out of it, and indeed if Peshawar is to continue functioning, it is fatally important to ensure the timely, confident and fluent running of the first bus on the track.

It is no surprise then the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry too has expressed concern over the delay in completion of the BRT project. While the government has set its sight on the Punjab metro bus project for auditing, the Peshawar BRT is a much more exigent and serious issue, that should be on the top of the government priority list.