SC sends Winder dam issue to dispute body

Dam will be built in Lasbela district of Balochistan, with capacity to store 36,484-acre-feet of water


Our Correspondent September 10, 2020
PHOTO: TWITTER/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The apex court on Wednesday forwarded the matter of the auction of the Winder dam contract to a dispute resolution committee.

 A two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Mushir Alam issued directions for the committee to hear the complaint of the construction companies association and resolve the dispute within the set timeframe.

Afnan Karim Kundi, the lawyer for the association, informed the court that the condition set for winning the contract for the dam was that a company could only qualify it had constructed a dam in the last 10 years. “Only one company meets this condition,” he added.

The lawyer maintained that all other A-category companies stood disqualified because of the condition.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin, the other judge on the bench, noted that everybody knew what had happened in the past in the cases of such projects.

During the previous hearing, Justice Mushir had noted that the construction of a project of national importance could not be stopped as the delay would also further increase its cost.

Justice Amin observed that the cost of the project could increase from Rs10 billion to Rs50 billion because of the delay.

Earlier, the Balochistan High Court had ordered an open auction for awarding the contract for the project. However, the provincial government challenged the high court decision in the apex court.

Winder dam will be built on Winder River in Lasbela district of Balochistan. It will allow the storage of 36,484-acre-feet of water to irrigate 10,000 acres. It will also generate 0.3 megawatts of electricity.The dam will be constructed at a cost of Rs15.230 billion. The federal government will finance the project entirely. However, it will be executed by the irrigation department of the Balochistan government.

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