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Consultancy contract: Wapda to take legal action against fake complainant, petitioner

Consultancy contract: Wapda to take legal action against fake complainant, petitioner

LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to take legal action after it learnt that the name and identity, used for filing a fake complaint to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and a frivolous writ petition before the Lahore High Court against the award of consultancy contract for Mohmand Dam Project, turned out to be of a cook, Mehboob Elahi, residing in a remote area of Choti Zerin in Dera Ghazi Khan district.

“The complaint has proved to be a fake one. And after examination of the record, it has been dismissed. However, we will initiate legal proceedings soon against attempt to create hurdles in the way to constructing such important projects,” Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain told Dawn on Saturday.

A complaint had been lodged under the name of Mehboob Elahi with the NAB chairman on May 21, 2019, seeking intervention of the bureau in the award of a consultancy contract for implementation of Mohmand Dam Project, praying action against Wapda officials allegedly for procuring consultancy services in violation of the rules. Interestingly, as a sequel to the complaint, a writ petition was also filed in the court on May 25, 2019 using the name and identity of Mehboob Elahi, seeking a stay order against the procurement.

On receiving the complaint, the bureau started a probe into the matter. Later on, the LHC on the writ petition also directed the NAB chief to decide the matter. In the meantime, Wapda provided complete record regarding procurement of consultancy services for the project as sought by the NAB, pleading that the whole process was completed in a transparent manner and according to the relevant rules.

Simultaneously, the NAB also summoned Mehboob Elahi to substantiate his case. In response, Elahi denied filing of any such complaint to the NAB or writ petition in the LHC, saying that neither he had any nexus with the complaint and the petitioner, nor he was interested to become part of the proceedings. On this the NAB chairman dismissed the complaint after examining the record submitted by Wapda.

“Such kind of fake complaints and petitions reflect as to how attempts are made in the country to impede development of water resources in general and construction of dams in particular,” Wapda Chairman Mr Hussain deplored.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan while taking cognizance of looming water crisis in the country, had passed a judgment in July 2018, directing the federal government “to take all necessary steps for the commencement of construction and early completion of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dam projects”. For smooth execution of the projects, an Implementation Committee on Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams was constituted by the Supreme Court. In January 2019, the Supreme Court also constituted an implementation bench comprising five judges of the apex court “towards the transparent and timely completion and for the faithful execution of the project of the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams”.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2019

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