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Blunders in BRT may cause further cost escalation, delay

National

May 23, 2019

PESHAWAR: Blunders and rectifications in the design in the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project after completion of the main corridor will further enhance the cost and cause delay in the project.

The flagship project of the PTI government in Peshawar has become a nuisance due to changes in design by the consultant and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The BRT project was started in October, 2017 by the then chief minister Pervaiz Khattak and still no date has been announced for the completion of the mega project.

Sources confirmed to this correspondent that the ADB has sent 30 observations for early rectification in the project. The consultant of BRT project Mott MacDonald Pakistan limited has raised few technical issues after the completion of main corridor.

According to a letter no PMCSC/PSBRT/CMCJV/R11/2005 issued on May 11, 2019 and PMCSC/PSBRT/CMCJV/R3/1988 dated May 8, 2019 issued to contractor and Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), a copy of which is available with The News, six curves and loops of elevated portion of the corridor need to be widened.

The first letter stated, “The JV contractor of Reach 3 is hereby informed that the current curves in BRT corridor at bridge-1 Tajabad Bridge and at Hayatabad loop are not as per highway designed plan and require widening at certain location as per attachments for better operation of BRT buses,” while in second letter the consultant said,

“The JV contractor of Reach 2 is hereby informed that the current curves in BRT corridor between bus station-12, bus station-13 and bus station-15 at Sir Syed Road are contrary to highway designed plan and required widening at certain location as per attachments for better operation of the BRT buses.

Meanwhile, another letter was issued on May 25, 2019, in which the consultant has directed the contractor to update the ticket booth designs of all stations as per Asian Development Bank observations. The ADB has raised serious objections on staff toilets, built outside the stations. The ADB has also issued instructions during their inspection that toilets must be built inside the bus stations.

The consultant has instructed in a separate letter to construct them inside the stations. It is pertinent to mention that the main corridor and attached roads are completed. Now, cutting of the main Jamrud and GT roads and corridor

will be required again for sanitation facilities, while water bore drilling will cause dust and pollution beside financial cost. A spokesman for contractor CR21G MAQBOOL CALSONS JV confirmed to The News that the consultant has instructed for several changes in design especially in elevated corridor curves, toilets and ticket booths.

“We have completed our work according to design sent by the consultant but we are ready to change it. It will further delay the project and increase the cost due to additional change. It is the consultant’s responsibility to provide proper designs to avoid any inconvenience before and during construction work but they have informed us after completion of corridor,” he said.

Director General PDA Muhammad Uzair confirmed that the ADB has instructed for widening of several curves on elevated portion.

“Some of the points of the corridor are narrow for 18-meter buses and need to be widened for smooth and safe operation of the buses. It was properly designed by the consultant but now it was observed by the experts of ADB that narrow curves might cause any serious casualty during the operation.

“We are working under the guidelines of ADB and they have also raised certain objections on ticket booths and staff toilets as well,” he said, adding that in compliance with the ADB observation, they have directed the contractor to start ratification work for the safety of passengers.

The PDA DG admitted that the project cost will also increase at this stage, because work has already been completed but they have to act according to ADB instructions. He said that ADB experts are visiting frequently but they have not raised these objections before or during the construction work of the corridor.

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