ISLAMABAD   -  The ground-breaking ceremony of much-awaited 800MW Mohmand Dam project has been delayed once again and will now take place on January 13.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda dispelled the impression of any wrongdoing in awarding contract of the dam construction to a joint venture of CGGC-DESCON and said that the bidding process had been completed and the contract was awarded to the company prior to the PTI government.

The minister also refused to go to Public Accounts Committee on one-day notice, saying he was not the servant of anyone. Regarding the call from the PAC for appearing before the committee on bidding controversy, the minister said, “I am not the servant of anyone that I will appear before them on one-day notice and that too from a convict or an accused who will come from jail and ask me to appear.”

Vawda said he was not answerable to anyone but to the prime minister. He said that no one would be allowed political point-scoring, adding he had directed his ministry that no one would appear before the PAC on single-day notice.

Regarding the bidding process for Mohmand Dam, he said, “Due to negative propaganda of some people work on the dam had not started; now it is being started and the project will be completed before its due time.” Just like the previous regimes, the present government is not going to do the inauguration again and again, said the minister.

The ground-breaking ceremony of Mohmand Dam project was earlier scheduled to take place during the first week of January but is now extended to the second week.

Ironically, Wapda Chairman Muzamil Hussain also addressed a press conference in Islamabad on the same issue, using different venue. When the minister of water resources was asked about the reason of not holding the press conference jointly with the Wapda chairman, he replied that it was due to cabinet meeting.

Talking about awarding Mohmand Dam project contract, the minister said that the contract was awarded to the company before the inception of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

The minister alleged that anti-state forces and enemy countries were creating controversies to further delay the dam projects. The minister said all hurdles had been removed and now the project was going to be materialised.

Descon is owned by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood. The minister however said that before joining as an Adviser to Prime Minister, Abdul Razak Dawood had resigned from the Descon.

The minister further said no favouritism was done in awarding contract to CGGC-DESCON. He said that speculative comments about the contract were totally baseless as the process had been undertaken with utmost transparency and without any favour or fear.

Vawda said neither Wapda nor any minister could award contract to any company without following the rules and regulations. He said the contract was awarded after technical evaluations by neutral experts.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen (r) Muzamil Hussain said international bidding for eligible firms or joint ventures was invited for procurement in accordance with PPRA and PEC provisions.

As many as 23 firms purchased the bids and two JVs submitted their bids. Technical bids were opened on 26 June in presence of JVs. The bids were evaluated by a consortium of consultants including NESPAK, SMEC (Australia) and ACE, wherein CGGC-DESCON was declared responsive. Pre-award technical negotiations are underway and after finalisation of the evaluation process, the contractor is likely to be mobilised by another 10 weeks by mid March.

Meanwhile, WAPDA using its own capability will kickstart the work as early as second week of January including geo-tech boring, establishment of seismic station, establishment of weather station and preparation of camp site for optimum utilisation of low flow period from January to May. This will substantially save both on time and cost.

The Wapda chairman said awarding the contract to the company of Adviser to PM is not the conflict of interest. Following transparent practices in line with PPRA rules and PEC provisions, the procurement process was initiated which included civil works, design, supply and installation of electrical and mechanical works and hydraulic steel structures, he said.

 

DAWOOD DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM BUSINESS VENTURES

 

 

APP adds: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles, and Industries Abdul Razak had dissociated himself from all his business ventures before joining the federal cabinet of present government, a statement issued by office of the adviser Wednesday said.

"On joining the cabinet, the adviser has totally distanced himself from his former business interests and has scrupulously observed and implemented all requirements of transparency and avoidance of conflict of interest," the statement said.

Referring to the news items related to award of contract of Mohmand dam project, the statement said Abdul Razaq Dawood founded and headed Descon Engineering Limited, as he did several other business ventures.

When asked to serve the present government, Dawood fully disclosed all his business associations to the prime minister and to ensure transparency and avoid conflict of interest, he resigned from all these associations before joining the cabinet.

His disclosure and resignations were provided in writing to the prime minister with the request that these be fully shared with the cabinet.

The disclosure had also identified the Mohmand dam project for which Descon had already bid before Dawood joined the cabinet.

The prime minister felt that this pending project should not prevent Abdul Razak Dawood from joining the cabinet. In fact, the prime minister made a strong plea for the services of the adviser for commerce, textile, industries and production and investment.

There has been no departure whatsoever from this ethic. So far as the Mohmand dam project is concerned, invitation to bids was floated by WAPDA on November 23, 2017 in accordance with International Competitive Bid (ICB) prequalification, single stage, two envelop procedure.

Descon submitted its bid in joint venture with China Gezhouba with 30 percent participating interest on 26 June 2018. As per the rules, technically qualified bidders were entitled for the financial bid opening and CGGC-Descon JV was the qualified bidder.

It is for WAPDA to comment on the bidding process leading to the successful bidder with its extensive experience in tendering for projects in and outside Pakistan, the Mohmand dam bids arranged by WAPDA were processed as fully compliant with national and internationally-accepted ICB bidding procedures.