Islamabad Metro bus project cost may escalate to Rs50bn

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RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) has started revising the budget of the metro bus project as the estimated cost is likely to go up from Rs44.21 billion to Rs50 billion.

A senior official of the RDA told Dawn that increase in land and construction material cost, purchase of escalators for bus stations, relocation of shrine on Sixth Road and bus depot land were some of the factors that had contributed to increasing the project cost.

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No work has taken place on Parade Lane and Blue Area for the last two months due to the sit-ins by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the official said, adding that the contractor was demanding payment for the extra days needed to complete the project.

He said that the relocation of gas and water pipelines and discovery of lines that had previously not been accounted for at Peshawar Mor and Constitution Avenue had also increased the cost under this head from Rs2.1 billion to Rs4 billion.

The sit-ins have also resulted in road blockade, forcing contractors to buy iron and cement from local industries at prices higher than those quoted in the agreement. Some portions of the ongoing project have been damaged at Parade Lane for which contractors have demanded compensation.

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