Independent consultant to monitor Diamer-Basha Dam progress

Web Desk BOL News

17th Sep, 2021. 04:27 pm

KARACHI: The Ministry of Planning and Development is seeking services of a consultant for monitoring of Diamer-Basha Dam mega project, as well as identifying the causes of delay, cost overrun and variations, an official document suggests.

The purpose of hiring an independent consultant is to monitor conformity of the execution with the approved project designs, specifications and timelines, and analysis of the material used and quality of work being carried out.

The Diamer-Basha multipurpose dam is expected to be completed in 2028, with a total cost of more than $8 billion. It is expected to generate 4,500MW of inexpensive and clean electricity.

A consortium of state-owned China Power and Frontier Works Organization (FWO), are building the project on a 70:30 ratio. Awarded in May 2020, the project will see 70 per cent of Chinese loans.

“The ministry intends to keep a check on the capacity and resources deployed by the contractors of the project, while the independent consultant will identify risks and threats and recommend measures for course correction,” the document noted.

Since its inception in 1998, the project has been at the center of controversies and corruption. Last year, Transparency International also flagged corruption and irregularities in the award of contracts for the construction of the project.

Others included securing funding from international lenders, groups such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund were unwilling to lend because the dam was in territory disputed between Pakistan and India.

However, the government of Imran Khan addressed these financial challenges in 2021 by issuing Pakistan’s first-ever green bond, the bond received an emphatic response from the investors, as it was oversubscribed with 4 times greater number of investors willing to invest than required, raising $500 million of capital for this project.

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