PEC Offers Construction of Diamer Basha Dam for Rs500 Billion

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OCT 11, 2018 (BE2C2 Report): Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Javed Saleem Qureshi on Thursday offered his institution’s services for the construction of Diamer Basha Dam with an approximate cost of Rs500 billion.

The offer was made by PEC chairman while talking to media in Islamabad amid reports that the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to establish its own consultant group by December this year that would assist it in initiating commencement and completion of the civil and other works on fast track besides building capacity of hundreds of engineers who would be exclusively used for the construction of hydropower projects.

The consultant group would enroll 600/700 engineers on the pattern of China where the China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) enrolled 3,000 local engineers and utilized their skills in construction of the world’s largest hydropower project Three Gorges Dam. It was just done by the company to reduce dependence on the foreign engineers and companies for launching such mega projects, a WAPDA official told Dawn after briefing the PM on the project last month.

The PEC Chairman said the engineering council is ready to save Rs200 billion of the exchequer — according to an estimate, the dams would cost approx Rs1400 billion.

Qureshi said the absence of engineers in the policy formulation is a major cause in the increase of circular debts.

He said, “We don’t have BS-21 and BS-22 grades engineers in the country yet whereas these officers make the country policy.” He said the law enforced punishment for non-engineers working in the engineering field. He regretted that non-engineers were involved in the formulation of mega-engineering projects.

He said the collection of donation for the construction of the 4500MW dam will take time. He therefore suggested constructing the dam with Sukuk bonds.

The construction of both dams would start in 2019. WAPDA last month received prequalification bids from five joint ventures led by the international companies / groups for the construction of main reservoir and appurtenant structures of the dam.

Qureshi further said the production of electricity will be cheap as compared to Thermal coal.

He demanded of the government to eliminate all non-engineers from the project and hire professional engineers on these posts. He said the hiring of non-professional engineers would cause hefty increase in the circular debit of Rs1.5 trillion.

Qureshi said a public limited company should be established for the construction of the dam. The government can sell the shares of the company and it can be given for 10 years lease to share profit with the share holders.

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