KARACHI: While taking notice of the increase in the cost of a multi-billion project which aims to resolve water issues of the port city, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has tasked the Inquiry Commission on Debt to investigate the reasons behind the project’s rising expenses, reasons of delay etc.
Insiders privy to the information told Pakistan Today that Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah Bukhari received a letter from the Inquiry Commission on Debt regarding the provision of data/information under section-4 of the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act – 2017 – K-IV Water Supply Project, Karachi.
Soon after the letter from the federal government, the chief secretary assigned Local Government secretary and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) managing director (MD) to communicate with the federal authorities for addressing their concerns.
According to official documents, KWSB MD Asadullah Khan did not attend the presentation whereas the commission has serious reservations on both, the contents of presentation, processing and implementation of the K-IV project.
The commission further stated that the feasibility study of K-IV project, supply of 650MGD water from Keenjhar source to Karachi, was given to the consultant M/s Osmani Company Pvt. Ltd in the year 2007. The consultancy cost was Rs33.742 million to be completed in a period of 26 months.
The project director (PD) was asked to submit the feasibility report and present its salient whereas he stated that the feasibility report was not available with any government department at all and M/s OCL, the consultant, had failed to provide the same despite repeated reminders.
The same consultant M/s OCL was entrusted with design review and the project’s supervision contract in violation of government Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) rules number 3.1.1 pertaining to the conflict of interest. Recently, the review of the design and work done by M/s OCL has been entrusted to M/s NESPAK at a cost of Rs120 million with three months’ completion period.
Major technical issues relating to gradient, alignment and geology of the area of K-IV project were raised by the Commission which the K-IV PD said were under the review responsibility of NESPAK. No project management organisation was identified during the presentation. As a matter of fact, KWSB the main sponsoring and implementing agency was sidelined.
The K-IV project, which was to be completed by 2025 in various phases, is currently in a seriously failing situation. The cost of the project cannot be determined presently due to inclusion of augmentation work and variations not included in the original PC-I All the work entrusted to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) on basis of single contract are on halt and serious damage to the physical work done has been reported due to multiple reasons, the commission further added.