Gilgit-Baltistan:Cost of Naltar Power Project surges by 125 Percent

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ISLAMABAD (Hydroworld.Com):In a new deplorable development, the cost of 14 MW Naltar-V Hydropower Project near Gilgit has painfully surged by 125 percent to whopping Rs 3.854 billion from original cost of Rs 1.715 billion during the last three years.

The Planning Commission (PC) came down heavily on the sponsoring agency of the project which is Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan (KAGB) and also its executing agency that is Water and Power Department in Gilgit-Baltistan (WPDB) saying that the original PC-I of the project was prepared in hurry with unrealistic and incorrect estimations and warned that project executing agency should in future exercise the extreme care while preparing the projects.

According to the document, the original PC-1 was approved by executive committee of national economic council (ECNEC) on August 20, 2009 at the cost of Rs 1.715 billion with implementation period of just three years. And now the executing agency has now submitted the revised PC-1 of the project at the revised cost of Rs 3.854 billion in 2012 with Planning Commission for approval with massive raise in the project cost by 125 percent with implementation period of 6 years.

The project envisages the construction of 14 MW Natlar-V hydropower project to transmit energy to Gilgit through 132 kv transmission line of 28 kilometers for meeting power requirements of Gilgit town and its surrounding areas.

However, the Planning Commission’s appraisal wing has further done the postmortem of the revised PC-1 pinpointing that the foreign exchange component is missing in the PC-I meaning by that the document has been prepared without taking into the detailed design of he project. It also questioned as to how firm cost estimates are possible if detailed engineering is yet to be carried out.

The appraisal wing also highlighted that a provision of Rs 64 million was made in the original PC-1 for preliminary works whereas this item has been enhanced to Rs 234.487 million showing the increase of 266 percent.

The wing also mentioned that a provision of Rs 459.838 million was made in the original PC-1 for Civil Works whereas this item has been increased to Rs 538.061 showing the increase of 17 percent in the revised PC-1 and asked for the reasonable justification from the executing agency.

It also identified that a lumpsum provision of Rs 20.022 million has been included in the revised PC-1 for Joint Operational Period whereas the same was not included in the original PC-1.

It also mentioned about the cost of land that has swelled from Rs 8 million to Rs 38 million with out any basis. The appraisal wing also questioned whether the section-4 is imposed for land acquisition or not.

It further says that the increasing trend of sectarianism, insurgency and radicalization especially in the Gilgit-Baltistan may cause serious threat to the investment and what security measures have been taken to safeguard the project as all this about security is missing in the revised project Published by HT Syndication with permission from Right Vision News

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