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LAHORE: Acting Managing Director (MD) of National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) Engr. Manzoor Ahmed has relinquished his charge on the completion of his service period, said sources.

The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) had appointed him as Acting MD of the company on 15th November 2021 on stop-gap arrangement after the before-time resignation of former MD Engr. Aizaz Ahmed. His period as Acting MD NTDC was completed on 15th of May.

Interestingly, the notification about his appointment as Acting MD had specifically mentioned that he would continue working till the appointment of a regular successor. But a single bench of Islamabad High Court passed an order on 10th May that the said notification would cease to exist on the completion of his period by all means and Engr. Ahmed would not be permitted to act as Acting MD on the said date. In case, no regular incumbent is appointed by the deadline, the next senior most person in the hierarchy of NTDC should be appointed on acting charge basis by the federal government. Accordingly, Engr. Ahmed relinquished his charge on the completion of his tenure.

Meanwhile, in another development, Engr. Ahmed has taken charge as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Asset Development & Maintenance (ADM) NTDC for which he was selected on a three years contract basis in March this year.

Sources said that Engr. Ahmed had been controversial for his past actions and a smear campaign had started soon after he assumed the acting charge of MD NTDC. An official inquiry had made him responsible for substandard and poor quality construction of two 132-kV lines in Sindh, causing loss of millions of rupees to NTDC.

He had also faced inquiry in the construction of Chashma Bannu transmission line. The route of this project was changed to construct pile foundations near the river. These foundations again collapsed recently and the route of line was restored to original site.

He had also faced an inquiry for deliberately changing site for 500-kV grid station Chakwal causing delay/ non-start of work and eventually heavy loss to the national exchequer.

In the case of CASA boundary wall project, he had allegedly carried out fictitious tendering process that had attracted the attention of then MD Zafar Abbas who constituted a bid evaluation committee. The committee found fabricated bids with incomplete documents amounting to half a billion rupees.

Reportedly the committee was verbally asked to complete missing documents to award tender to a favourite contractor. Similarly, he was charged with reducing Rs8.7 million from already verified variation order, etc., at Nowshera, Mansehra and Chakdra grid stations.

However, sources close to the Engr. Ahmed have pointed out that he had completed some 24 projects during six months of his tenure as Acting MD, making 2000 megawatt capacity alive. Also, it happened for the first time that six anti-state elements involved in sabotaging two towers of NTDC in Sindh were apprehended recently, who had used seven locally handmade IEDs to destroy transmission lines on two towers in April this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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