PESHAWAR - The construction work on much acclaimed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Project has reached final stage of completion as over 80 per cent work on its main corridor and passengers terminals were completed and hectic efforts are underway to inaugurate it on March 23, 2019 for general public.

Transport Department officials told APP on Sunday that work on BRT, a flagship project of PTI Govt, was in full swing as over 80pc construction work on its cycle & motorcycle track, service stations and passengers terminals on Package-I i.e from Chamkani to Balahisar Fort has been completed.

The authorities accelerated work on different passengers terminals on main BRT corridor after the recent surprise visit of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who directed its completion at earliest so that residents of Peshawar and adjoining districts could get comfortable travelling facility. The official said that hectic efforts were underway to complete remaining work by March 23rd.

After completion, BRT would provide state of-the-art communication facilities to more than 500,000 commuters daily at affordable rate besides adding beauty of Peshawar with 2000 years old primitive history and home of Ghandara civilisation.

Under phase-II, BRT corridor would be constructed from Malik Saad Shaheed flyover near Balashir Fort to Aman Chowk via Khyber Road with a financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Green belts on both sides of BRT corridor are being restored while work on beautification of main and service roads besides bridges were accelerated. New plantations and flowers are being raised under bridges and flyovers on its main route and flowers are being planted on occasion of Plant of Pakistan campaign inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday.

All U-turns were opened for traffic and problem of traffic jams except at Hasthnagri and Fridous area was addressed. In addition to completion of about a kilometer long overhead bridge at Firdous Peshawar City, work on interchange bridges at Chamkani were also completed.

Construction activities on overhead passengers terminals especially in Cantonment and Tehkal area was accelerated that would likely to be completed by March 23, 2019.

The first shipment of 20 state-of-the art buses for BRT has reached Peshawar from Karachi and test trial was successful performed at Hayatabad. The official said about 220 buses will be purchased to ply on BRT route out of which 155 buses will be 12 meters long while 65 are 18 meters long, adding, the current lot of buses consist of 12 meters long with capacity to accommodate 75 passengers each will provide quality communication facilities to the residents.

Equipped with facility of Wifi, the buses is a unique feature of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) that will track real-time location of the bus.

These hybrid environment-friendly buses would reduce carbon emission in the City besides reducing 31,000 tons of carbon emissions when compared to existing transport system of Peshawar. The most significant feature of the BRT bus is Universal Access System (UAS) with key factors used to globally rate and evaluate such transport systems.

These buses are low floor having ramps for wheelchairs to handle people with disabilities besides providing easy access to senior citizens.

Equipped with additional seat belts as per ISO standards, all hinges and ramps of buses are adjusted to smoothen an access of wheelchairs  till a passenger reach designated stop.

The buses have a separate section for women as well as priority seats.

“The proposal regarding raising of transport force was at an advanced stage to counter self-increased fare by transporters, environmental and noise pollution. The force will counter self-increased fare by transporters at local, regional and inter-provincial routes besides check vehicles fitness before allowing its entrance on roads and vehicles prior of 1993 registrations would be banned.”

The vehicles registration were divided in A, B, C and M categories as under M category vehicles prior of 2008 model would not be allowed to come on motorways whereas in category A vehicles prior of 2003 registration would also be banned on GT Road after failing to pass fitness test.

In categories B and C vehicles prior of 1998 model and 2003 model’s registrations respectively would be banned on GT Roads if they failed to pass prescribed fitness test to be conducted by Vehicles Emissions Testing Stations (VETS). As many as nine VETS working under aegis of Transport Department issue fitness certificates to vehicles after examining its overall conditions and fitness.

The department has decided to impose heavy fines against all smoke-emitting vehicles spreading pollution and over charging passengers against govt prescribed fare list.

The force will be given proper training about traffic laws, rules and regulations and would be fully equipped like Motorways, Excise and Taxation Departments force.

To check fitness of passengers vehicles, strength of motors vehicles examiners would be increased at districts level and at least four examiners would be deployed in all districts of the province.

Mobile wings stations of Transport Department would soon be established with a mandate to check overloading and fare related issues on GT Road and Motorways and all vehicles carrying heavy load would be banned on national highways and motorways to prevent its damage and increase its durability.