Engineering body calls for removal of non-technical persons from key postsArchive
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) on Wednesday asked the government to immediately remove the secretaries of the ministry of energy and chairmen of Wapda and National Highway Authority and replace them with competent engineers to protect the country from the adverse impact of their unwise decisions.
The PEC also called for halting the collection of funds for the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams, initiated by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, suggesting that instead a public limited company be created in the private sector with monitoring by the public sector and its subscription should be offered to local and overseas Pakistanis.
Speaking at a news conference, PEC chairman Jawed Salim Qureshi said the energy sector circular debt had reached Rs1.7 trillion mainly because of the inability of the successive governments to utilise the potential of engineers and their planning skills. “We demand the immediate removal of the power secretary and the position should be given to a competent engineer. Likewise, we also demand that current non-technical Wapda chairman should also be removed. Same is the case with chairman of the National Highway Authority. These highly professional and technical assignments should be given to competent engineers and technical experts.”
The PEC chief said that under the PEC act, the appointment of a non-technical person on an engineering post was a punishable act and both the appointee and appointing authority were liable to six-month jail.
Also seeks halt to collection of dams fund
He said the Supreme Court of Pakistan had three years ago ordered that non-technical persons be removed from technical positions against which the government went into appeal but the appeal was rejected and yet the implementation of that court decision was still pending.
Mr Qureshi said fund collection for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund, initiated in July 2018, should be immediately stopped. He suggested that instead a public limited company should be created in the private sector with public sector monitoring and its subscription should be offered to local and overseas Pakistanis.
According to him, the project is such that if managed professionally it could raise more than Rs1500bn in a matter of days because it offered a very good rate of return to shareholders.
If successful, the model could be replicated for more than 30,000MW of other hydropower projects on the Indus cascade downstream Diamer-Bhasha.
He said Pakistan was heading towards drinking water shortage and the country would have to channel dam waters through pipelines to cities. Thus, the government should engage with engineers for 20-25 year planning.
Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2019