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ISLAMABAD: The 5th extension of Tarbela Hydropower Project (T5HP)is facing serious delay in implementation and donors have disbursed only $68.8 billion against the committed amount of $690 million i.e., nine percent only, it is learnt.

Under 5th extension of Tarbela Hydropower Project, the power generation capacity of Tarbela Dam will be enhanced by 1,410 MW.

The World Bank has committed $390 million for 5th extension of Tarbela Hydropower Project, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has committed to provide $300 million for this project.

Sources revealed to Business Recorder that the World Bank has disbursed $36.6 million, while the AIIB $32.2 million so far.

Major issues in project implementation include; (1) The implementation of T5 HPP remained very slow due to; (i) Annulment of hiring process of consultancy services for construction supervision in July 2012 and delay in finalization of 2nd hiring process for more than 18 months; (ii) Delay in preparation of procurements documents and award of major contracts; (2) Capacity and HR constraints at PMU level-major cause of slow implementation; and (3) slow implementation progress on solar pilot project.

Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs chaired a high-level meeting on August 30, 2021 to review the progress of Tarbela Hydropower Project (T5 HPP), Dasu Hydropower Project, and Dasu-Mansehra-Islamabad Transmission Line.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Water Resources, WAPDA, and NTDC and project directors.

The member, WAPDA informed that contractors have been mobilised on the project site and the construction activities are picking up.

The Minister for Economic Affairs expressed that timely completion of Tarbela Hydropower Project would help to meet rapidly increasing demand of electricity in the country and improve the energy-mix by increasing the share of clean energy.

He directed to resolve all the pending issues and expedite implementation to ensure timely completion of the project.

The minister highlighted that local people have suffered a lot due to land acquisition for construction of dam in 1960s and 1970s.

He instructed the project authorities to provide more job opportunities to the locals, especially affectees of Tarbela Dam, as per project and contract agreements.

The minister further directed to review the performance of already completed community development schemes.

The minister also emphasised that community development schemes must be prepared in consultation with the local communities to address the genuine needs.

While reviewing the progress of Dasu Hypdropower Project, the minister emphasised on resuming all the development activities and directed to accelerate the project implementation to ensure timely completion.

He expressed that revamping and augmentation of power transmission system is critical to ensure smooth and efficient evacuation and supply of power.

The minister further directed the relevant authorities to identify the critical path and set timelines for expeditious implementation of all the foreign-funded projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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