Reading Now: BRT Peshawar – Fraud or Success?
BRT project Peshawar has probably become one of the most notorious infrastructure projects initiated by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf back in 2017. The project was initially designed to be favoring for the lower middle class people of Pakistan by providing decent modes of transportation at very affordable rates. However, the project got hit by poor management and criminal negligence on behalf of respective authorities which has led to multiple never-ending delays. Multiple financial audits pointing out towards mismanagement of the allocated budget and corruption have been released by private companies. Project directors and management have a history of giving new inauguration dates whenever they are questioned for irrational delays.
— RATHORE (@URPMLN1) May 17, 2020
Problems Associated With BRT-Peshawar
BRT Peshawar is an ambitious project that has left the people of Peshawar longing for completion. This project has slowly become a money devouring parasite with no sign of an end to it. The locals in Peshawar commonly refer to it as “headache” and do not have words of praise for the KPK government regarding its planning and management.
Here are some of the major problems associated with the 3 year old under construction project:
1. Huge Financial Manipulation
BRT Peshawar project is mostly ill famed for its long term history of being involved in corruption allegations. Many government officials and private companies have been pointed out by agencies and audit reports which refer to the fact that billions of rupees have sadly been burnt in the fire of personal benefits and illegal usage. Many companies involved in the project have been identified to charge a lot of money in exchange of cheap or incomplete work with complications. Lack of management and technical knowledge has led to this huge financial loss to the national treasury. The entire project was estimated to cost around Rs.41 Billion whereas latest statistics announce a whopping Rs.75 Billion spent on a yet incomplete endeavor.
2. Poor Architecture And Low Quality Material
BRT Peshawar was ranked the poorest design for such a project by an international survey firm. The design and planning is idiosyncratic enough to run literal gas pipelines just above the heads of common citizens in BRT pass gates. There is no arrangement for drainage of rain water and emergency power supply. The facility is very non-friendly to clean because of tight spaces and non-defined areas which people use to their comforts. Also, built things keep falling apart. Many cases of concrete walls cracking and dismantling after a week of being built have been reported. Materials and manufacture engineers have released quality reports, finding that the construction material is low quality.
3. Frequent Traffic Jams
Traffic jams come with projects of such extent and people expect the problem without being too nosy about it because they consider the end result worth it. However, in this case, there are no signs of completion and there are no signs of alleviation from the problem for the locals in Peshawar. Incomplete chunks of construction and broken roads have led to frequent and intense traffic jams normally lasting for hours during peak rush hours. Average route timings have increased drastically, and with the project nowhere near its end, people of Peshawar are not very hopeful for the problem to end anytime soon.
4. Severe Air Pollution
The project has resulted in dislodging unbelievable amounts of dust into air from broken roads and incomplete construction. People in Peshawar have reported that ENT related diseases have increased with flu being the most common of all. Especially the people with dust allergies find it difficult to survive there. The worst part is that the project has no estimated date of inauguration. People are hopeless and they consider all that dust a part of their everyday life now. A local said that he did not expect the dust to settle down ever, because he was sure that the construction will not be concluded ever.
5. Eternal Deadlines
The spokesperson for a project this critically over-budget and over-delayed is Shaukat Yousafzai, who proudly prefers yogurt over costly tomatoes for people of Pakistan. Shaukat Yousafzai has been interviewed multiple times on TV channels as well as press conferences regarding the completion of the project. And every time he somehow convinces people of a very fresh deadline. He has failed to commit to his words and people are requesting the federal government to hold him liable for his non-serious attitude.
All in all, KPK government and PM Imran Khan have failed to deliver what they promised with this project. Rather, the initiation of this project has caused many additional problems for the common man. The fate of people in Peshawar hangs in the balance of completion of the mega-project. So is BRT Peshawar – Fraud or success? Definitely not a success.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.