The Nandipur Power Project is symptomatic of the cancer of corruption and huge kickbacks that afflicts every project funded by tax payers of this country. It would only serve to mislead people of this country if failure in power generation projects, railway engines and locomotives or security surveillance systems etc imported from China was to be blamed on China’s lack of technology and expertise. China has emerged as a leading economic power based on its own technological expertise which has surplus electric energy and is amongst those countries with a reliable and functional railway transportation system.

Pakistan Railways till 1990 was exporting freight wagons and coaches to Sri Lanka and was meeting all local requirements from the Carriage Factory, Islamabad. Instead of augmenting this facility, the lure of kickbacks motivated the government to shut down this facility. Our main railway tacks have capability of 22 tons per axle while branch lines can sustain 16.5 tons per axle. Orders were placed initially for 64 and later another 75 locomotives with incompatible group 1 locomotives having axle loads of 23 tons and group 3 locomotives with axle loads of 19.3 tons per axle. This resulted in the breakdown of railways, rise in accidents, cost of maintenance and higher fuel consumption because of lesser hauling power than specifications listed jointly by manufacturer and Pakistan Railways. There has been change in both government and management of Pakistan Railways but what is constant is powerful kickback mafia which prevails despite of accidents resulting in loss of human life.

Be it Nandipur based on natural gas started in 2008 by China Dong Fang Electric Corporation with initial estimated cost of Rs23 billion and expected completion in April 2011 to produce 425 MW which escalated to Rs57.38 billion due to delays during PPP government with machinery stuck at Karachi Port for two years. In June 2013, after payment of $40 million as compensation to Dong Fang, work was resumed in July 2013 and PM inaugurated first turbine on 31 May 2014 only to be operational for 5 days. It is mismanagement by incompetent unqualified and corrupt cronies of government which has lead to the never-ending cost of Nandipur, the new Islamabad airport, collapse of PIA and PSM among others.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, May 30.