ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to interrogate Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and summoned details of the undertaking from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal heard the case.
The verdict of the PHC was challenged by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA). The provincial government’s counsel told the apex court that the project was started in 2018 and its design was changed several times.
The lawyer maintained, “A plaintiff moved the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to stop development work of the BRT project in front of his house. However, the PHC issued a verdict which the petitioner had not even requested for.” The SC ordered authorities concerned to present details of the project in terms of its cost and completion and set aside the Peshawar High Court verdict that ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe into alleged financial irregularities in the BRT Peshawar project. The hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period by the court after serving notices to the respondents in the case. The counsel replied that the BRT projected will be completed by July 31, 2020. The SC issued notifications to all parties on KP’s request.
It is pertinent here to mention that the Peshawar High Court had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to investigate into the mega project. Last week, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai had said that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar project would be completed by the end of March this year.
The provincial information minister ruling out the propaganda of increase in the cost of the BRT Peshawar had said the total cost of BRT Peshawar project is Rs34 billion. He challenged the critics to expose corruption in the mega project. Shaukat Yousafzai had said the civil work of the Bus Rapid Transit Peshawar project has been completed and it will be completed by the end of March this year. =DNA