–Premier terms Peshawar BRT ‘the best metro bus project in the country’
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday inaugurated the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project almost three years after the work commenced on the project.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the prime minister termed the service as “the best metro bus project in the country”.
“This will have an impact in Peshawar cause the city has one main artery that stretches from GT Road to Hayatabad, which chokes when under pressure, resulting in people sitting in traffic for hours which causes pollution and petrol wastage,” he said.
The premier maintained that the main artery was 27 kilometres long while the feeder routes were 60km. “This means that all of the city will be connected,” he said, adding that it was a modern transport system covering Peshawar in its entirety.
The premier also admitted to having “reservations” about the project. “I want to say I had reservations about the project. Today, I want to pay tribute to Pervez Khattak because he always said that you will realise the importance of this project once it is completed. So all I want to say is that he [Khattak] was right and we turned out to be wrong,” he said.
The premier also commented that the ticket prices for the Peshawar BRT were “just right”. “Our programmes should give priority to improving the lives of the common man. Everyone can afford the ticket which ranges from Rs10 to Rs50.”
There are also tickets for students to make their commute easier and hospitals have been connected so people will no longer face difficulties in this regard, he said.
He also said that the project will eventually increase the per capita income in Peshawar and bring prosperity. “When you have a good transport system, it brings change,” he added.
Started in October 2017, the project, which is built at a cost of Rs70 billion, is a 27.5 kilometer-long corridor track with 31 stations and seven feeder routes stretching 62km with 146 stops to facilitate thousands of passengers every day.
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Wednesday said that the initial deadline set by his predecessor, Pervez Khattak, was a mistake. However, he had launched the project to benefit the people of the provincial capital, he had said.
Earlier in the day, the premier launched the Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme in Khyber district to prevent stunted growth in children.
The premier also planted a sapling and giving polio drops to a young child, before being given a briefing by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar.
According to Radio Pakistan, Rs8.52 billion have been allocated for the programme under which deserving families will be provided nutritious food and a quarterly stipend. In the first phase, 33 centres will be established in nine districts of the country all of which will be established by the end of the month, the report said.