Wapda causes $753m loss in Tarbela-IV project

Many important projects started during the previous governments have been seen as corruption and the nation is suffering the consequences.

Tarbela Dam, the plan of the fourth tunnel, was given by the experts during the previous governments, then it was given attention again during the Nawaz Sharif era. The funds were also allocated but no one is ready to give an answer as to where the funds went. Imran Khan’s government is suffering the consequences of all these criminal decisions.

The construction of the fourth tunnel of Tarbela Dam, which could not be completed even after many years, is now raising many questions about its revival. Transparency International Pakistan has said that the Tarbela Sr. No. 4 project has lost Rs $753 million (Rs 100 billion). According to Transparency International, the decisions of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) have not been implemented in this regard for a year and a half. A detailed performance audit was ordered to be completed within 60 days.

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Deputy Chairperson Transparency International Pakistan, Nasira Iqbal demanded that those responsible be held accountable. It may be recalled that last month, the civil works contract for the fifth expansion project of Tarbela Dam with a capacity of 1530 MW was awarded. The $354.6 million contract was awarded to a Chinese company after international bidding, and the project will start generating electricity by mid-2024.

Tarbela Expansion Project is being constructed on Tunnel No. 5 of Tarbela Dam. The approved PC-1 of the project consists of US 807 million. IBRD (World Bank) is providing US 390 million for the project while Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is providing US 300 million. The production capacity of the project is 1,530 MW. The project will start production in 2024, with a total of three units installed.
It will provide 1.34 billion units of affordable hydropower to the national grid every year. With the completion of the project, the power generation capacity of Tarbela Dam will increase from 4,888 MW to 6,418 MW. Tarbela’s fifth expansion project is one of WAPDA’s 10 major projects under construction.

It may be recalled that WAPDA Chairman, Zafar Mahmood, during the Nawaz Sharif era had said at the time that the expansion of Tarbela Dam would be completed in 2017 which would generate an additional 1410 MW of electricity. Tarbela Dam was constructed in 1974 which is generating 3478 MW of electricity and after expansion it will increase its power generation by 1410 MW and Tarbela Dam will add 4888 MW to the national grid in 2017.

It may also be recalled that during the Nawaz Sharif era, a time frame of February 2018 was given to complete the expansion work of Tarbela Dam, but work on it has been expedited and efforts are being made to complete it ahead of time, according to WAPDA Chairman Tarbela Dam. I have five tunnels out of which three tunnels are working and the fourth tunnel is under construction and after its rehabilitation, 1410 MW will be added to the national grid. According to the chairman of WAPDA, the World Bank has provided 2.5 billion. Tarbela Dam is being upgraded.

Thus, this report is very important in terms of what was done on the fourth tunnel during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure and how much money was wasted.

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