Pakistan: Peshawar's crucial BRT service may be stopped as operators denied Rs500 million payments
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has failed to clear over Rs500 million dues of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) operators which triggered fears that the service might be stopped soon.
The bus service caters to 300,000 commuters in the provincial capital on a daily basis.
Officials told Dawn that the BRT operator Daewoo Pakistan as well as the privately-owned LMK-Resources Pakistan, which is responsible for intelligent transport system, fare collection and station management, had taken up the issue with the provincial government for early resolution.
They said the provincial government owed over Rs500 million to both companies.
The officials said the government company TransPeshawar, which owned the BRT, had the required funds at its disposal but “political interference” in its affairs was to blame for the delay in payments.
Caretaker transport minister Shahid Khan Khattak expressed ignorance about the matter.
“You need to talk to the additional chief secretary in whose domain lies the issue of funds,” he told this correspondent.
The documents available with Dawn show that Daewoo took up the dues issue with TransPeshawar on April 27 and May 17.
On May 23, the company formally requested caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan to get its dues cleared by the company.
“This petition is being initiated to draw your kind attention towards an alarming issue, which if not urgently resolved, may adversely affect the interest of people of Peshawar, by depriving more than 300,000 people from transportation service, affecting their livelihood and domestic activities,” it said.