ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – The Supreme Court (SC) observed that the delay in the national interest project of construction of Dasu Dam would increase its cost and ultimately its burden would be shifted on the tax payers.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dost Muhammad Khan heard the appeal of Power Construction Corporation of China against the Lahore High Court judgment.
Justice Dost Muhammad said that further delay in construction of Dam would cause loss and its burden would be shifted to the tax payers, adding that the government does not have funds to construct even small dam, while this is huge project required billions of dollars.
The court recalled that in the past, they had clarified that the government make decision regarding Dam in light of its orders.
The court directed the government to raise the instant matter with the World Bank so that petition of the Chinese company, pending before the Bank should be decided at the earliest.
M/s Power Construction Corporation of China had submitted application for the construction of the project on May 28, 2015 to which the Wapda submitted its report to the World Bank for evaluation of the bidders and conditionally pre-qualified the Corporation along with several other bidders.
M/s Power Construction Corporation of China challenged the Wapda decision to oust the Corporation from the bidding process for awarding the contract before the Lahore High Court which rejected the plea on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the petition.
Later, the corporation invoked the Supreme Court jurisdiction in the matter filing appeal against the LHC verdict.
On Friday, at the outset of the instant hearing, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan inquired as to whether there is country director or head of World Bank in Pakistan. He also asked about the agreement signed between government of Pakistan and the World Bank.
Former Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt and counsel for Chinese Construction Company, submitted before the court that according to the agreement Pakistani laws could be applied to the construction of Dasu Dam project.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, another member of the bench questioned as to whether the World Bank was examining the application of Chinese Construction Company.
Counsel for Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Shehzada Mazhar informed the court that the Chinese company has approached the World Bank for examining its application for considering its bid for Dasu Hydropower Project.
At this, Justice Qazi Faiz Isa said let the decision of World Bank either positive or negative come after that they will pass an appropriate order.
Shahzad Mazhar, counsel for Wapda however, contended that the government has opened the financial bids and it has received Rs460 million in the bid.
The learned counsel pleaded if the process was halted at this stage, then the government would face huge loss.
Meanwhile, the court in its order ruled that the matter should be taken by the government with World Bank so that the petition of Chinese Construction Company, pending before it, is decided at the earliest Later, the court adjourned further hearing until third week of September.
Source: the Nation