PESHAWAR : Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday inaugurated the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project here calling the third generation travel facility as “the best metro bus project” of Pakistan. “This is the highest level metro project of the country,” the Prime Minister remarked. The inaugural ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, federal and provincial ministers, advisers and special assistants and other senior government officials. The bus project has been built at a cost of around Rs70 billion. Around 340,000 common people will enjoy safe, comfortable, and affordable travel in luxury buses on a daily basis. The BRT is a 27.5 kilometer-long main corridor track with 31 stations, besides seven feeder routes of a total of 62 kilometers with 146 stops to facilitate hundreds of thousands of passengers every day. Work on the bus project was launched in Oct 2017 by the then chief minister, Pervez Khattak, who set six months deadline for its completion at a cost of Rs49 billion. However, the project suffered delays due to the frequent design changes and other issues, pushing up the project cost. The Prime Minister on the occasion said, the project will help solve all of Peshawar’s traffic woes. There is one main artery in Peshawar that runs from GT Road to Torkham. People used to be stuck in traffic for hours and this will definitely benefit the commuters. PM Imran Khan said that he had reservations over the BRT project but today he wanted to say that Pervez Khattak, you were right, we were wrong. “I pay tribute to him [Pervez Khattak] and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for this excellent project,” he said. “On behalf of all, I want to say, Pervaiz Khattak! you were right and we all proved wrong,” the prime minster said while appreciating the defence minister for the project. The prime minister said that the BRT project is the third generation program in metro projects and it has 28 kilometer of main arteries and 60 km of feeder routes, adding that this will improve traffic flow in Peshawar. Imran Khan specially lauded the BRT fare list introducing Rs 10 to Rs 50 fare for 27 kilometer journey what he said would make it affordable especially for the laborers to move around in search of wage. He said this was the distinction of the PTI government that it always thought of common man while executing any development project. He said besides being an affordable facility for the students, the BRT project would also provide connectivity to the city’s hospitals too thus providing connectivity to whole of the city. He appreciated the idea of introducing the hybrid buses to be fueled by a mix of diesel and electricity that would help reduce the pollution level. Earlier, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the project’s features and significance. He also inspected the bus, the control room and other facilities provided for the comfort and ease of the passengers. Earlier in the day, the premier had arrived in Khyber and launched ‘Ehsas Nashonuma’ Program while he also planted a sapling and administered polio vaccine drops to a child.
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