• Sunday, August 18, 2019

BRT project unlikely to meet April 20 deadline

Discussion in 'Members Club' started by Champion_Usmani, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

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    PESHAWAR: With the April 20 deadline for the launch of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit service drawing closer, it seems to be a race against time for the authorities to ensure the project’s completion in the next 50 days.

    The PTI-led provincial government had announced that the Rs49 billion flagship project would be successfully executed in six months.

    Work on it had begun on Oct 20 last year.

    Sources insist frequent changes to design will delay bus service, increase cost by Rs2bn

    The sources said the frequent fiddling with the project’s design even several months after its launch was not only going to delay the completion of work but it was also likely to add the over Rs2 billion cost overrun to the project.

    “The project’s completion within the deadline seems almost impossible,” a source said.

    Last week, project director Sajjad Khan also proceeded on medical leave.

    However, the sources attribute his departure to the government’s growing frustration with the project.

    Mr Sajjad had overseen the project at the design phase until it was handed over to the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) for execution.

    The officials claimed that Mr Sajjad recently began talking about the course correction in meetings much to the ire of the PDA officials, who considered him to be responsible for planning blunders.

    They said the project authorities opined that the PC-I’s revision to enhance the project cost would have to be undertaken at the execution stage due to the unforeseen circumstances, which led to several changes.

    A senior government official told Dawn that the exact amount of the revised cost was not clear at the moment as the situation was very much fluid but it was likely to be above Rs2 billion.

    The background discussions with the officials paint a picture of a project in a flux with frequent changes and infighting. Sources said that project’s funder Asian Development Bank (ADB) get so much angry with pace of design changes that it fired a nasty email to the project managers chiding them for carrying out alterations with the donor’s approval.

    Several sources said the faulty designing process was haunting the project, as large numbers of changes were made to the project, while several others were likely to emerge as the work progressed.

    The sources said the detailed engineering design done at the cost of Rs1.253 billion was faulty and was apparently made without keeping ground realities in view.

    “The preliminary design accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the detailed design which in turn accounts for up to 85 to 90 per cent of the project,” a source said.

    He said at the execution stage, only variations were encountered and minor changes were made to accommodate them.

    “What is happening in the Peshawar BRT project are not variations but the wholesome changes,” another source claimed, adding that it would be a blunder when you go for elevated level from ground and construct an underpass instead of elevated section.

    The sources said the project has so far faced several major changes which could not have taken place in case it would have been designed meticulously.

    “What really happened at design stage was that the designers just drawn lines on google earth but rarely ventured into the field,” a source said, adding that otherwise these changes would not have to be made.

    The project designers, sources said that remained unaware of the existence of a 19th century drain, which at the execution stage disrupted their plan to construct a mix traffic underpass at the site. Similarly, they also ignored the fact that a grade level route would close entry and exit points to Gulbahar and Nishtarabad neighborhoods. The contractors first went for grade level route parallel to the Arbab Sikandar flyover but this led to closure of major traffic arteries, forcing the officials to consider building elevated portion next the flyover.

    They dug up several piers after this realisation.

    However, it had to be abandoned all of the sudden after the ADB objections.

    Work on the portion of Pir Zakori Bridge, which will lead the BRT traffic to the GT Road has also yet to start.

    Similarly, the construction of another mix traffic underpass at the junction of the Khadim Hussain Road and Airport roads had to be abandoned as it left little room traffic coming towards cantonment area and going to University. It forced the planners to abandon the underpass and go elevated at this spot.

    At Gora Qabristan, a nearly completed underpass to be dismantled as due to narrow curve, which could have led to collision of vehicles coming from opposite directions.

    On University Road, the authorities decided to construct elevated portion from the KFC to Tambowano Morr after digging of the BRT corridor left only a single lane for mixed traffic.

    A source told Dawn that the University Road was likely to have lost parking space after construction of two stations on the main road and it could spell disaster for city’s one the busiest business district.

    A senior official associated with the project confirmed a lack of proper planning. “Unfortunately, the planning was not up to the mark,” he said.

    Another source told Dawn that the work on two bus depots was yet to start and in their absence it was not clear how the service was going to hit the road.

    The haphazard nature of planning can be judged from fact that the authorities had only made token allocation of Rs1,000 as the provincial government share of the project in budget 2017-18.

    However, in order to be able to pay for taxes and custom duties on buses, they have to rush to provincial cabinet to approve over Rs. 5 billion as supplementary grant.


    Ironically, an army of the project’s staff members is drawing from Rs5,000 to Rs300,000 a month as BRT allowance since Dec 2016.

    The details available with Dawn show that the number of the buses has also been reduced from 299 to 220 and the contract has been awarded to a Chinese company Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus Company, which offered lowest bid of Rs5.478 billion for supplying buses.

    Transport secretary Kamran Rehman denied the reports of cost escalations, saying PC-I is revised in case of difference between costs and estimates and currently there was no need for it.

    He also denied reports of Mr Sajjad removal and said he was very much part of the project.

    When contacted, PDA director general Israrul Haq said the authority had completed around 50 per cent work on the project.

    He said he was hopeful that the project would be completed on time.

    “We have not changed the deadline. Any change will be made keeping the project progress in view,” he said.

    Mr Israr said changes to the design were routine issues, which arose from time to time and were decided accordingly.

    About the revision of the project’s PC-I, he said it was very big and complex project, its PC-I’s revision was an ongoing process.

    The PDA chief denied any cost overrun at the moment.

    “I have no knowledge of it (cost overrun),” he said.

    Mr Israr also denied reports of difference of opinion with the ADB on the project.

    Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1392589/brt-project-unlikely-to-meet-april-20-deadline
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  2. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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  3. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

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  4. AdeelFaheem

    AdeelFaheem FULL MEMBER

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  5. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    Both are metro projects, people need to know the facts... why are you in pain..are you a shitwari?
     
  6. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

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  7. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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  8. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

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    it contains facts related to Peshawar Metro project too, just check post 23...

    @AdeelFaheem I seriously pray that Peshawar metro gets completed before 30th may 2018, cuz if not, then people will suffer for sure...
    Aisa nahi hona chahiye k Assemblies tenure poora ho jaey aur Peshawar khoda hua ho, Awam takleef may hon...
    Regarding Multan metro, anyone claiming to be in possession of Solid evidence (of alleged corruption in Multan metro) must go to court instead of only accusing..., court is the right forum to share the evidence (if they have any) not the media...period.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  9. AdeelFaheem

    AdeelFaheem FULL MEMBER

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    Agreed
     
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  10. The-Hack

    The-Hack FULL MEMBER

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    Peshawar Metro project given to blacklisted company: Suleman Sharif

    Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s son Suleman Shahbaz has termed the Peshawar Metro bus project by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government a tsunami of corruption. On the social media website Twitter, Suleman Shahbaz said Imran Khan has given the contract of the Metro bus in Peshawar to a blacklisted company to fund his party. “Peshawar Metro contract given to a blacklisted company. “MAKSON” ! It tried to swindle 1 billion in Lahore Metro it was caught and shunted! Peshawar Metro !!! A tsunami of corruption by IK to fund PTI! MAKSON a blacklisted company given contract worth billions by IK and company!” he wrote.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/26...t-given-to-blacklisted-company-suleman-sharif

     
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  11. Salza

    Salza SENIOR MEMBER

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    In country like Pakistan, mega urban projects do face delays so it is acceptable in any city or province. How ever, PTI's criticism over metro buses and train in Punjab is not acceptable when their KP govt is doing same in their city. This is not justified and can be debated not delays and a bit of corruption.
     
  12. The-Hack

    The-Hack FULL MEMBER

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    Peshawar Metro-bus cost/km exceeds Lahore and Islamabad’s

    The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 57.23 billion. As the corridor will be approximately 26 km long, the cost per km will be Rs 2.2b /km or approximately $21/km.

    Whereas, Views of Imran khan about Islamabad & Lahore Metro bus projects:


    Sorry in advance if anyone feel pain from this picture

    upload_2018-3-2_15-59-13.jpeg
     
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  13. AdeelFaheem

    AdeelFaheem FULL MEMBER

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    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/283733-brt-project-launched-in-haste-hoti

    BRT project launched in haste: Hoti

    PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) provincial president Ameer Haider Hoti on Tuesday said that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project was launched in haste without considering the need of the residents.

    Speaking at a press conference at the Bacha Khan Markez, he said that the project was launched without planning. He added that the project being launched on the existing roads would badly affect the general traffic.

    The ANP provincial president also criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for failing to construct the promised 350 dams, adding that PTI leaders were declaring the micro-hydel power schemes as dams.

    Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Shangla leader Mutawakil Khan along with his supporters announced joining the ANP on the occasion.

    During the press conference, Ameer Haider Hoti announced that Malala Yousafzai’s maternal uncle had also joined the party. Ameer Haider Hoti claimed that today’s joining would change the politics of the province in future and the next general election. He said the next 100 days were important and people would hear more good news in these days.

    The ANP leader said that his party had completed 70 percent ticket distribution while the remaining tickets would be distributed after the delimitation of constituencies. He said masses would witness chaos when the PTI would start distribution of tickets. “The PTI has been dreaming elimination of other political parties from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while they are going to be eliminated after five months,” he added.

    He said the government had borrowed billions of rupees due to the rampant corruption in the province. “The government is facing a deficit in the range of Rs70-100 billion and that would be a headache for the next government,” he claimed.

    He said that initiation of inquiries by National Accountability Bureau proved that the government was involved in mega corruption. The chief minister also criticised government the PTI government for taking credit for the hydel projects that were initiated by his government.

    One Billion Tree Project :lol:

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/286556-civil-society-activists-concerned-over-tree-felling-for-brt

    Civil society activists concerned over tree felling for BRT

    PESHAWAR: The Civil Society Organisations including Institute of Architects of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karwan Tanzim, Sarhad Conservation Network and Maureen Lines Trust have expressed concern over felling of hundreds of precious trees in Peshawar as a result of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

    Through a statement, it said the recent tree felling for the BRT in Peshawar has reached the final stage across the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) building.

    It added that hundreds of huge trees comprising various species like Almaltaas, Apple, Sheeshum, Peepal and Banyans have been sacrificed for road expansion to accommodate the final station of BRT in Hayatabad Phase 5.

    According to the statement, many experts wonder if this massive felling of trees was avoidable if civil society and independent experts had been part of the planning process in the earlier stage.

    “The BRT project was hurried in a three-month timeframe with little input from experts or environmentalists,” it argued.

    “The EPA again failed in its obligation of raising objections on the loss of biodiversity and recommending alternate designs whereby tree felling could be avoided,” it maintained.

    “Although Imran Khan had often boasted that not a single tree shall be felled in Peshawar BRT, the mistakes in design and planning have led to massive destruction of ecosystem which is indeed lamentable,” the Civil Society Organizations statement said.

    “Due to absence of environmental body to keep a check on the project, it was expected that it would result in serious environmental degradation.

    “Roads and development without shrubs, old trees and green belts are not only unaesthetic but contribute enormously to ill health, chest and CVS infections, even cancer,” the statement pointed out.

    It warned that the challenge of climate change threatens to turn all major Pakistan cities into arid deserts. It lamented that policy makers and administrators do not factor in the economic and health costs of ecological degradation.

    Meanwhile, the statement noted that the civil society members met the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) director general and requested him to kindly revisit the BRT design. They told him that destruction of ecosystem could have been prevented if the design was open to public debate and scrutiny on time.

    The statement said the following points were discussed and agreed in a meeting held Tuesday and chaired by PDA Director General Israrul Haq at PDA offices in Hayatabad regarding BRT design attended by PDA horticulture, roads and BRT staff and civil society members:

    1.Tree felling was inevitable due to errors in planning of BRT route. However, there was alternate arrangement for tree plantation along Ring Road.

    2.PDA to introduce new act to incorporate tree felling by laws. It sought help from the civil society for input in drafting of the act.

    3.The existing capacity for transplantation of trees is limited due to rocky ground and tree height and girth and limitations in the use of machinery. PDA was asked to increase its capacity and get appropriate technology to scoop out earth along with entire tree for transplantation.

    4.Civil society to aid PDA in ‘Adopt a Tree’ campaign in Peshawar schools. PDA would provide free saplings and civil society would arrange sessions in schools.

    5.Public interest petition to be filed by civil society against large truck compounds along the Ring Road causing pollution. 6.A body of civil society members would be notified.
     
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  14. Champion_Usmani

    Champion_Usmani SENIOR MEMBER

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    Design changes to delay Peshawar BRT project

    PESHAWAR:

    With the provincial government hoping that the BRT does for them what the Metro Bus project in Punjab did for the PML-N in the last general elections, a senior engineer working on the project in Peshawar has warned against constant tinkering in the design of the project to make sure it is completed on time.

    When work on it first started in October last year, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had promised that the project would be completed within six months. But as that deadline nears, the project looks far from being complete.

    The Project Management and Construction Supervision Consultant (PMCSC) for the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project have written a letter to the director general of the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) stating that the contractor working on building the project must be given a clear sense of direction to complete his work.

    Lack of coordination: Too many departments spoil the project

    “The continuous amendments to the design of various aspects of the Peshawar BRT project is seriously jeopardising the completion of the Peshawar Sustainable BRT Project within the specified time limits,” the letter warns, adding that not only are the extensive design changes causing setbacks, the time it takes the government machinery to approve these changes was even more agonising — as it alluded to the lack of any decision-making power of the chief engineer.

    Khattak has been pushing the private contractor and other government bodies working on the BRT to complete the Rs49.3 billion project by April 20 so that he can inaugurate it before the end of his tenure. But constant changes have made the task of achieving that target impossible.

    The letter, written by an engineer of the private consultancy firm contracted for the project adds, “Neither timely approvals are forthcoming from the approving agencies nor are the conceptual designs, being provided by others for major design amendments, are — in nearly all instances — workable for one reason or another, and require reworking according to site conditions before being buildable.”

    The firm has asked the government to intervene and put a halt to any further design amendments so that the contractor and the government can concentrate on completing the project without any unnecessary distraction.

    In just the six months since the government started work on the project, the project design has been changed at 11 different points.


    As a result, work on several sections of the project has yet to get underway such as work on the Gulbahar flyover.

    The government had initially decided to build a BRT corridor here at ground level. However, the designers later realised that this would rob Gulbahar and Sikandpur residents of key U-turns while the existing Arbab Sikandar Khan Khalil flyover would lose its utility. The design was hence altered.

    Green Line BRTS faces delay due to design change

    Similarly, work on the Level-II Pir Zakori Bridge has yet to start. Construction of the elevated corridor in Tehkal was decided months after the civil work on the project kicked-off.

    Later, with work on an underpass at Aman Chowk almost complete, it had to be dismantled and rebuilt owing to design flaws. Moreover, the government has now decided to make a station at Karkhano Market.

    Officials working on the project say that the constant changes in the design are not only delaying the project but are also adding to its cost.

    “At the moment, the cost is still Rs49.3 billion, but it will certainly increase by about a billion or more because of the additional elevated portions which were added later,” the official said, adding that even with everyone working on the project being pushed to their limit, the April 20 deadline seems almost impossible to meet.

    “Officials have started to squabble in meetings as the deadline looms,” said a senior government official dealing the matter. He pointed to a brawl between the PDA director general and DIG traffic during a recent meeting on devising a traffic management plan.


    The official divulged that an irate DIG Traffic had turned around to lambast PDA chief of focusing on BRT project and completing it as soon as possible.

    “People have started to realise that the deadline is not going to be met, thus they have started skipping meetings,” said the official.

    PDA admits delays

    Meanwhile, PDA Director General Israrul Haq has admitted that the project is facing delays and that people should not expect it before May 20, a month over its prescribed deadline.

    “Our deadline for the contractor is April 20, and we are pushing [hard] to achieve it. If it gets late it will not be more than a month,” Haq said as he insisted that they were doing all they can to meet the deadline.

    Referring to the changes, Haq termed them as ‘minor’.

    “You make changes even while building a small bathroom in your home, this, though, is a mega project and it will certainly undergo structural changes,” he stated matter-of-factly.

    The PDA chief added that work on the Pir Zakori Bridge is expected to start in a day or two and the project will be completed within three months. However, he was quick to clarify that the bridge is not a part of BRT, thus it will not affect that project’s overall completion deadline.

    He also admitted that the cost of the BRT project will rise due to the design changes, but he tried to downplay them by terming them ‘nominal escalation which promises more benefits’.

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2018.

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1659178/1-many-cooks-design-changes-delay-project/