SC seeks report on alleged corruption in Golen Gol project

ISLAMABAD, Oct 28: The Supreme Court has asked Ministry of Water and Power and the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to submit replies regarding alleged irregularities of Rs1 billion in the Golen Gol Hydro Power Project in Chitral.

The two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, accepted appeal against a verdict of Islamabad High Court (IHC), which on February 10 had rejected a petition, filed by Centre for Empowering Society (CES) President Muhammad Shafique Khan Sawati.

Advocate Hashmat Habib, appearing before the court on behalf of Sawati, challenged the award of Golen Gol Hydro Power Project to Andritz Hydro Gmbh – Andritz Austria (China) Ltd Construction. The petition said Wapda had earlier declared Andritz Hydro Gmbh as non-responsive and guilty of 19 major commercial deviations.

But all of a sudden it became Wapda’s favourite company and was awarded a contract with a padding of Rs1 billion after being declared non-responsive single bidder, it said. “Wapda under law was required to strictly observe PPRA Rules to establish transparency in the procurement but committed serious violation by extending the submission period for more than 12 times, creating confusion for the genuine bidder and playing evil-game, declared the Respondent No. 4 (the company) a single bidder as successful with Rs1billion padding to award contract,” it said.

It said the IHC’s judgment was ‘bad in law and facts’ and ‘liable to be struck down/set aside’ to ensure transparency in the operation of Wapda. “The IHC division bench seriously erred by holding that under Rule 33 (3) of the PPRA Rules, Wapda authorities can issue notices to the bidders, who had already pre-qualified and there is no need for re-tendering the whole project,” the petition said.

The petition also argues that the IHC had also erred in holding that allegations were not supported by any evidence and said the court ignored that the documents on record were conclusive proof that in the previous bid the final evaluated price was Rs4,745,915,559/. “[But a] letter of acceptance is issued for a total price of Rs5,65,121,256/- [which reflects] a clear padding of Rs1 billion thus what else is required as further evidence,” it said.–Express Tribune.

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