ISLAMABAD - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday challenged the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) verdict directing FIA to probe the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project of Peshawar.

KP chief secretary, secretary local government & rural development and secretary transport department jointly filed an appeal in the apex court under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against Fazli Karim Khan, Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) DG and BRT Project Director & others.

In their appeal, the petitioners stated that the respondent No 1 (Fazli Karim Khan) had filed a writ petition in the PHC wherein he challenged the construction of Station 31 of the ongoing BRT project on the grounds that it was being built right in front of his house, and, therefore, the value of his property had gone down.

They added that the PHC, while accepting the writ petition, formulated 35 points in the shape of questions and directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for investigation and inquiry.

The petitioners submitted that a similar writ petition (4217/2017) was filed in the PHC in 2017, which was dismissed vide judgment and order, dated 07-12-2017, by the then chief justice of the High Court. Astoundingly, CM No.847-P/2018 regarding some transfer matter was filed in the already dismissed writ petition (4217/2017) wherein the PHC directed NAB to conduct investigation and inquiry into the BRT project vide judgment, dated 17-07-2018, which was impugned before the august court, wherein the Supreme Court granting leave to appeal suspended the impugned judgment of PHC by maintaining status quo.

They maintained that however, the PHC without considering that the matter under scrutiny was sub judice, again passed the impugned judgment & order dated 14-11-19 to writ petition No.2520-/2019.

They continued that the judgment revealed that a letter/report (without mentioning the same) had been reproduced in the impugned judgment and while copying the text even the ‘Flag’ that was mentioned in such letter/report was not omitted and had been incorporated in the judgment.

The PHC judgment has observed that due to the improper planning the short-term project was revised with 35 percent increase in cost and some of its components abnormally increased by 237 percent (Package 6), 200 percent (Package-9) and 147 percent (Package-4). This is a proof of poor planning done for the project by the consulting firm with the provincial government at the receiving end.

“The project has grossly been mishandled and mismanaged by the provincial government officials from inception, and thus so far three project directors have been replaced,” the High Court judgment said.

The project was initially conceived and included in ADP 2011-12 by the coalition government of ANP and PPP. The PTI government initially ignored the project. However, the government started spadework in January 2017 through a Transport Authority by the Asian Development Bank. This was a face saving project for the PTI government, which ultimately was going to have adverse effects on provincial coffers and tremendous inconvenience for the inhabitants of Peshawar, the judgment added.