Design faults continue to haunt Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project as the contractor has now started fortifying the already completed elevated portion of the corridor in Saddar because buses cannot easily navigate the narrow and sharp turns.
The issue surfaced when a test run of the 12-metre-long buses was conducted. Buses approaching from opposite directions could not cross the sharp turn near the Gharbi police station in Saddar Bazaar leading to the executing agency, the Peshawar Development Authority’s decision to widen the curve.
The contractor has put up another pillar beneath the already completed flyover, while two of the completed pillars are caged with steel bars for fortification so that the road above the pillar could be widened enough for the buses to pass easily the sharp turn.
Officials knowledgeable about the issue said that the 18-metre buses, which are also the part of the project and would be operated on the main corridor, have not had test runs yet. “If the turn was narrow for the 12-meter buses then it would certainly be a problem for the 18-meter buses,” said an engineer who has worked on the Peshawar BRT project.
“It’s called scabbing, which is not a good solution. These are afterthoughts. Any additional structure that is not built as an integral part of the structure is cosmetic surgery and can be good for a short duration but doesn’t give durability,” he said.
The Peshawar BRT has become the butt of a number of jokes because of its changing deadlines and frequent design changes that have not only delayed the project but also led to a massive cost escalation amounting to over Rs18 billion.
The PDA director-general and its spokesperson were not available for comments.