Peshawar BRT project: Pakistan Auditor General report finds financial irregularities of Rs 2.77 billion
In a recent report, Pakistan’s Auditor General has revealed financial irregularities worth over Rs 2.77 billion in Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project, considered as one of the best metro bus projects in the country.
The AGP report said that the changes made to the design of the mega-project have increased its cost by Rs 17 billion (from Rs 49 billion to Rs 66 billion).
The report has further highlighted that “unauthorised payments” of Rs 17.7 million were made to several officials including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s additional chief secretary, from the Project Implementation Unit’s fund.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s provincial minister Shaukat Yousafzai has refuted the report of any corruption in the BRT project.
Ikhtiyar Wali, Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) spokesperson from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has demanded the accused to be brought to justice and the BRT project be handled by a third party.
This comes weeks after Pakistan’s high-quality bus-based transit system faced severe criticism when one of its buses broke down on the main corridor near the Abdara station leading to the social media users questioning the country’s bus-based transit system and the Imran Khan-led administration.
Earlier this year, the BRT project in Peshawar city faced criticism by the people after the stations got flooded and witnessed water leakages during heavy rains.
The BRT project has been constructed by a consortium led by China Railway 21st Bureau Group and it has witnessed several accidents since its inauguration on August 13.
The project, built at a cost of Rs 70 billion is a 27.5 kilometre-long corridor track with 31 stations and seven feeder routes stretching 62km with 146 stops to facilitate thousands of passengers every day.