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Construction of deep water container port: Senate body expresses reservations

Chairperson of the Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping expressed reservations about the construction of the Pakistan Deep Water Container Port by KPT and mentioned that the national exchequer has to endure a loss of Rs 20 billion.

The KPT wishes to put things in correct perspective by stating that the Subcommittee was briefed in detail on 21st and 22nd September 2011 on the agenda items it has communicated along with appropriate answers to the queries raised by the Senators. The sub committee met all stakeholders and was provided the opportunity to discuss the matter threadbare. In addition, all relevant documents as demanded by the subcommittee were provided without delay and no objection was raised even to the demand for providing lease agreement for KPT Housing Society although it had no relevance to the main issue and was not on the Agenda.

The committee was informed that the contract of the project was accorded to the lowest bidder strictly in accordance with PPRA rules at the cost of Rs 19.288 billion which was subsequently reduced to Rs 16.432 billion. The said works commenced on 27-12-2008 and are expected to be completed on 29-03-2012. After the meeting the two senators visited the site but the Chairperson of the committee did not accompany them. The visiting two senators commented that the work was indeed huge and the progress visible.

The contention of the Chairperson of the sub-committee that KPT was equipped enough to undertake a gigantic project like PDWCP on its own is far off the mark because KPT lacks appropriate technical hardware and experience to do so. Her remark that she knows more about the technical details than all technical personnel associated with the project is casual, to say the least. The so called technical experts referred to in the news item who provided documents to the concerned newspaper are unnamed and the contention therein that the Chinese firm to whom the contract was awarded was rejected due to insufficient experience and know how is baseless.

Another point that has been wrongly stated is that 25 percent mobilisation advance was given instead of the agreed 10 percent. The actual fact is that 10 percent mobilisation advance was given against bank guarantee in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract. It is also pointed out that the Chairperson of the subcommittee as well as other members repeatedly reported to the press that KPT has invested over Rs 100 billion for constructing nearly four berths whereas the factual position is that the entire infrastructure of the port including four berths would cost Rs 58 billion.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011