PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has rejected some reports that work on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has been stopped due to coronavirus threat.

The response by a government spokesman came after reports in the media that work on the mega project has been halted and 3,500 people working on the project out of total 4,500 have gone to their homes owing to the fears of coronavirus outbreak.

The reports quoting ‘sources’ claimed that technical work on Reach-1, Reach-2 and Reach-3 of the project has been halted due to which it will not be possible to complete work on the project within stipulated deadline.

The reports said that Chinese engineers were also not given clearance for coming to Peshawar due to which the process of connecting BRT project with electricity has also been stopped.

However, a government spokesman rejected these reports and said that work on the project is continuing as per routine.

Reports of stoppage of work on the project have emerged two days after Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Local Government Kamran Bangash said BRT project would be completed by the end of the current fiscal year in June.

Kamran Bangash said most of the work on the project had been completed and that it had been handed over to the TransPeshawar for the installation of intelligent transport system (ITS).

In the beginning of March, it emerged that further delay might be caused in the inauguration of BRT project as drainage system could not be completed at the University Road. Due to lack of any drainage system at University Road, the rainwater accumulates on the sides of BRT stations. In such a situation, it will be impossible for people to use the stations in these areas in case of rain.

The Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) is working rapidly on construction of the drainage system and in this regard it has written a letter to the SNGPL to identify the gas lines on the road to clear the way for drainage. The SNGPL has told the PDA that there are six-inch and 10-inch pipelines in the area.

While inaugurating the project on October, 2017, then chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak had claimed that the project will be completed in a record duration of six months.