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SC raises questions on Peshawar BRT project

SC raises questions on Peshawar BRT project
June 3, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Raising questions on Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday extended the stay order which stopped the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the project. A three-member bench headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal and including Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Qazi Amin heard the case. During the hearing, Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal remarked that the court will examine the transparency of the BRT project. The process under which the construction contract was granted will also be checked,” he added. Justice Umar further said that the apex court will to analyze specific things as judiciary including repeatedly redesigning the project on public money, delay in its completion, mistakes committed in it and transparency. “Is there any conflict of interests in the BRT project? Was it launched without groundwork? Has the provincial regime spent billions of rupees on an incomplete project?” The top court adjourned the case hearing for an indefinite period over request by the KP government counsel. Earlier, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has formed the bench on the appeal of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. On March 18, the Supreme Court had adjourned the case for one month. A bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising of Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed had heard the case filed by the Peshawar government against the High Court verdict regarding structural change in the project. During the hearing, the court questioned that when the project will be completed and what its actual cost was? The KP government’s counsel said that the project would be completed by July 31, while the work on the project started in 2018. He maintained that the design of the project was also changed several times. The SC ordered authorities concerned to present details of the project in terms of its cost and completion and sought details of the undertaking from KP government. “A plaintiff moved the 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 lawyer stated. The court set aside the Peshawar High Court verdict that ordered the FIA to probe into alleged financial irregularities in the BRT Peshawar project. The court stopped FIA to probe into mega project scam.