KARACHI: The Ministry of Planning and Development is seeking the services of a consultant to monitor Diamer-Basha dam mega-project, as well as to identify the causes of delay, cost overruns and variations, suggests an official document.
The objective of hiring an independent consultant is to monitor the compliance of the workmanship with the approved designs, specifications and deadlines of the project, as well as the analysis of the material used and the quality of the work in progress.
The Diamer-Basha multipurpose dam is expected to be completed in 2028, at a total cost of more than $ 8 billion. It is expected to generate 4,500 MW of inexpensive and clean electricity.
A consortium of state-owned China Power and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) builds the project on a 70:30 ratio. Awarded in May 2020, the project will see 70% of Chinese loans.
“The ministry intends to monitor the capacity and resources deployed by the project contractors, while the independent consultant will identify risks and threats and recommend measures to correct the course,” the document said.
Since its inception in 1998, the project has been at the center of controversy and corruption. Last year, Transparency International also reported corruption and irregularities in the awarding of contracts for the construction of the project.
Others included obtaining finance from international lenders, groups such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund were unwilling to lend because the dam was in disputed territory between Pakistan and India.
However, Imran Khan’s government addressed these financial challenges in 2021 by issuing Pakistan’s very first green bond. $ 500 million in capital for this project.