News Analysis |
The prototype bus for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) has reached Peshawar. The bus approved for the project arrived in the provincial capital after being trucked from China. In a statement issued on Wednesday, TransPeshawar — the urban mobility company announced that 12-meter Bus has arrived in Peshawar.
In a press release by TransPeshawar, Shahzad Khan Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who is also newly inducted chairman of the TransPeshawar Board of Directors expressed pleasure to announce that after great upheavals and a lot of struggle, the prototype bus made its way to Peshawar.
The demo bus is already tested in China and is brought to Peshawar for additional testing in the local conditions, he added. The bus arrived in Peshawar is one of 12-meter-long 155 buses which will run on the main corridor as well as the direct service (feeder) routes of Peshawar BRT Project. TransPeshawar is expected to purchase a total of 220 buses. Other than the 12-meter-long 155 buses, sixty-five 18-meter-long buses are also ordered for the project.
It is easy to criticize the provincial government for not being realistic about the prospects of the project, having seen the ground realities. But, it appears that false assurances on part of CEO contributed immensely in its failure to deliver the project in time.
The first of its kind in Pakistan, prototype buses are hybrid and can run on diesel as well as electricity. PTI government has launched the project keeping in view the environmental concerns of the city. Peshawar [along with Lahore and Rawalpindi] is rated among one of the top most polluted cities in the world due to a high degree of air pollution.
These buses are environment-friendly and tend to reduce Carbon emission. According to a careful estimate by ADB, Peshawar BRT once launched will reduce 31000 tons of CO2 emissions when compared to the existing transport system of Peshawar. The buses will be equipped with wifi and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) facility – a feature to track the real-time location of the bus.
According to TransPeshawar, a significant feature of BRT buses is Universal Access System, which is one of the key factors used to globally evaluate BRT systems. To make the journey of the disabled citizens of the city comfortable, these buses will be fully equipped to handle people with disabilities.
Moreover, keeping the traditional and cultural requirements in mind, the buses also have a separate section for women and priority seats. TransPeshawar is intended to be responsible for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project design, procurement, implementation, on-going BRT operations and service contract management.
CDIA (City Development Initiatives for Asia) in 2014 provided support to the Government of KP to assist with the institutional legislation and framework and link the Peshawar BRT to ADB financing. The company was set up under the section 42 of the company’s ordinance, 1984. The provincial government of Pervez Khattak was aiming to inaugurate the project in his tenure, but the delay in the project has moved the project ahead.
The bus arrived in Peshawar is one of 12-meter-long 155 buses which will be run on the main corridor as well as the direct service(feeder) routes of Peshawar BRT Project.
Initially, CM Khattak wanted to inaugurate the BRT project before April 30, but after seeing the slow progress, Khattak wanted to inaugurate the first part of the project, Reach-1, on May 20. But here too, he failed because work could not complete in time and was extended beyond May 28, [when PTI’s coalition government finished its tenure].
Though officials from the company had given specific dates for different portions of the project, no final date for the completion of the entire project is presented. According to the Director-General Isrurul Haq, Transport Secretary Kamran Rehman and Peshawar Commissioner Shahab Ali Shah, 80 % of construction work on reach-1, 75 % of work on reach-2 and 94 % of work on reach-3 has been completed thus far.
KP’s eye-catching BRT project is put in limbo after its Chief Executive Officer Altaf Khan Durrani failed expectation of KP government. CM sacked him after delays in the project that had jeopardized party’s plans to deliver the much-awaited project before the end of its tenure.
The company was set up under the section 42 of the company’s ordinance, 1984. The provincial government of Pervez Khattak was aiming to inaugurate the project in his tenure, but the delay in the project has moved the project ahead.
The project faced the crises of the sort when its top management including chairman Board of Directors of TransPeshawar Javed Iqbal, General Manager Operations, and Market Development Mohammad Imran Khan and Chief Finance Officer Safdar Awan unhappy with the unfair dismissal of the CEO, resigned from their posts.
KP government accused Durrani, who was specially brought from Canada for the project, for failing to complete the project on time and for changing the inauguration dates on regular basis in official meetings. On the other hand, Durrani refuted the accusations & argued that he was ousted unfairly despite following the international procedures and protocols.