ISLAMABAD - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has directed the concerned authorities to amend the PPRA and PPA rules to clear the way for the Frontier Work Organisation (FWO) to execute four hydro projects with the combined generation capacity of around 1287mw.

To accommodate the FWO and for the fast track completion of the hydropower projects, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has ordered amendment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Private Partnership Act, 2014 and Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules in 10 to 15 days, official sources told The Nation here.

The decision was taken by the chief minister in a meeting with Director General (DG) Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) Maj Gen Muhammad Afzal. In the meeting, it was informed that KP Planning and Development Department and Law Division are creating hurdles in the way of handing over the hydropower projects to the FWO. Law and P&D is of the view that under the existing rules of Public Private Partnership Act and PPRA rule it is not possible to handover the projects to FWO without following a proper procedure. The CM has asked the recommendations for the amendments and has directed to bring changes in the rules within 10 to 15 days, the official said. 

Earlier, the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) board had refused to obey the decision of the PTI leadership regarding handing over six hydel power projects to Frontier Works Organisation without following due process.

Under the original plan, the KP government would invite international tenders for 13 hydel power projects but since the election time is coming near and there is no concrete developmental work on ground it was decided to shelve all the rules for the early completion of the projects. In the past three years the provincial government has generated just only 1MW of electricity.

The FWO is asking for six projects but now the CM told them that initially they are going to hand over only four projects to them, the source said. Chinese government had agreed to fund the implementation of hydel projects in KP. The four projects that are going to be handed over to FWO include 377MW Ghairat Shwirlasht Hydropower Project, 350MW Booni Zait Power Project, 260MW Jamshill Power Project and 300MW Balakot Power Project.                                           

Under the existing Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules the projects cannot be handed over to any company. The allotment of the contracts to FWO without following proper rules and regulations will jeopardize PTI’s credibility in private sector and belie its fairness claims, the official said.

He said that it is good if the projects were handed over to FWO as it will save the province at least 18 months time. “If you are following the rules and regulation you need at least extra 18 months for completing the bidding process,” the official maintained.

In the meeting, the CM asked the FWO to start deploying machinery for starting  work from today (Thursday). The provincial government would pay a sum of Rs11.5 billion for the projects to the FWO. The Rs6 billion amount would be given to the FWO before the end of this month and the remaining Rs5.5 billion would be reflected in the next Annual Development Programme (ADP) for onward release to the FWO. Swat Motorway will start from Captain Kernal Sher Khan Interchange on Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1) & Terminate at Chakdara on National Highway N-45. It was decided in the meeting that on August 27 a public gathering will be held at Karnal Sher Khan Interchange on the M1 and CM khattak will inaugurate the project. The official said that Pervaz Khattak asked the FWO to complete the project within 15 months but DG FWO said that they will be able to complete it 18 months.