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BRT Peshawar: ADB Notes 22 ‘Critical’ Deviations From Design, Says It Will Generate A Very Negative View Globally

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It seems the incomplete Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Peshawar project cannot escape the headlines albeit for all the wrong reasons, including the sharply increasing cost, the incomplete structure, the inconvenience it is causing to the citizens and most importantly the poor construction quality.

A latest report by Shahbaz Rana for The Express Tribune mentions the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which says the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government significantly deviated from the original, agreed design and used inferior quality material in the Rs70 billion project putting lives and assets at risk in the process.


Read more: Public Money Wasted On Peshawar BRT: Report


And talking about the design and poor quality of construction, the ADB has also warned that BRT buses could collide at stations number 10, 12, 15 and 26 during operations because the lane width is less than the minimum requirement of 6.5 metres.

These findings were recorded by a technical team of the ADB after an on-site inspection in March this year, as it mentioned 22 critical deviations from the agreed project design.

And in the same month, the ADB stopped the provincial government from making future payments to contractors because of the poor quality of work. The ADB loan will not be disbursed further until the provincial government introduces changes in the design to address “critical” deficiencies.

The inferior quality construction could damage the project’s reputation at the international level, warned the lender that had approved a $335 million (Rs53 billion) loan for the project in mid-2017.

“This is not acceptable for the effort and investment made into the Peshawar system; this will generate a very negative view of the system both [on a] national [level] and internationally,” the ADB warned.

The ADB noted that there were “significant design deviations from the agreed detailed design that impede or degrade system performance.

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The provincial authorities also used “inferior material” that both harm system functionality as well as deliver an aesthetically inferior product.


Read more: Public Money Wasted On Peshawar BRT: Report


Another major objection relates to the lack of adequate construction supervision and communication. And the demand made by the ADB to remove the defects might not only slow down the completion of the already much-delayed project, but also further surge the cost.

The project was initially approved to be constructed at a cost of Rs50 billion. However, after coming into power in the Centre, the federal government allowed an increase in the cost by 38% or Rs18 billion to nearly Rs70 billion.

The 22 critical deviations from the detailed project design identified by the Bank include use of slippery floor tiles jeopardising the passengers’ safety, not using the safety signalling yellow tiles, meeting Kassel curb design for the curb interface between the vehicle and the platform as well as keeping the width of lane against the requirement of a at least 6.5 metres. Also, passengers will be exposed to rain at many stations.

Despite the ADB’s strong recommendation to install anti-cut and anti-climb fencing, the provincial government used a fencing material on the instructions of former Chief Minister Pervez Khattak that could be “broken and stolen”, The Express Tribune said.

Meanwhile, the ticketing kiosks are also of inferior quality where corrugated steel has been used. At many places, pillars or stairways “do not align properly”. At certain stations, the stairs and escalators have been built in the middle of the stations, obstructing walking space. The footpaths are blocked by the placement of the public toilets and stairways.

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