KP govt determined to complete Peshawar BRT in ‘record time’: CM Khattak

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Talking to reporters here Sunday, Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak defended the decision of sacking the CEO of Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit for failing to meet the deadline saying the concerned official ignored repeated reminders by the provincial authorities.

Although, the delay had pushed the completion date for two months but it would still be a record to complete such a mega project in eight months, said the CM.

The CEO deliberately delay the procurement of buses, he added.

Just 15 days to the final May 20 deadline of the KP government to inaugurate the Peshawar BRT, the main company assigned to operate the system started falling like a house of cards as chairman of its Board of Directors (BoD) and two other important officers of the company have quit apparently in protest against the removal of the chief executive officer (CEO).

The step by the officers leaving the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Urban Mobility Authority (KPUMA) and its subsidiary, TransPeshawar Company (TPC), assigned to maintain and operate the BRT system in the provincial metropolis, has definitely shattered Chief Minister Pervez Khattak’s plans to launch the BRT on May 20 or at least before the expiry of his tenure that ends on May 28.

The provincial government removed the CEO of the TransPeshawar, Altaf Akbar Durrani, on May 2 after he refused to procure busses for the BRT as per schedule desired by the chief minister, and that too at a time when the corridor of the project has not been completed.

His removal was approved by the provincial cabinet at its meeting on April 19, after the chief minister informed it about the impediments in the completion of his government’s lone mega project as per its timelines.

Chairman of the TransPeshawar BoD, Javed Iqbal, who according to the sources, had already conveyed to the sacked CEO that he would also resign if the government went with its plan to remove him (CEO), tendered his resignation the next day (May 3).

Similarly, following in the footprints of the BoD chairman, two key officers, Chief Finance Officer Safdar Sher Awan and General Manager Operations and Market Development Mohammad Imran Khan tendered their resignations in protest against the CEO’s ouster.

The removal of the CEO and subsequent resignations of the chairman BoD, CFO and GM Operations left the Company without its top management that would not only delay procurement of the buses, but also hamper timely completion of some other formalities of the project.

The provincial government wanted to inaugurate the BRT on May 20, for which it sought immediate procurement of the buses.

However, the ousted CEO informed the chief minister about the legal and manufacturing formalities and testing process of the prototype before mass production of the buses that would have to take about a month. This frustrated the chief minister who perused his cabinet to approve removal of the CEO.

In the meanwhile, the provincial government continued with its plan to launch the BRT during the last 20 days of its tenure and adopted another way to arrange buses for the project.