LAHORE: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide Rs26.6 billion for the construction of the much-delayed Naulong dam in Balochostan after the provincial government agreed to issue an NOC next week allowing the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to execute it.
“ADB has agreed to fund the project, as it has included it in its business plan,” a spokesman for the bank told Dawn on Saturday while confirming the development.
“The bank is of the view that the provincial government doesn’t have the capacity to execute the project in a professional manner. And if Wapda executes this, it is ready to fund it,” the Wapda official said.
After this development, the Naulong dam project is no more in the funding ambit of the federal government’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), a senior official in Wapda told Dawn requesting anonymity.
Located on Mula River--about 30km from Gandava Town in Balochistan’s Jhal Magsi district, the 4.4-megawatt Naulong project was planned to be launched in 2009 with completion in 2012. However, the project—a zoned earth fill dam with 186 feet height and gross and live storage capacity of 242,163 and 199,956 acres feet—remained stuck for about nine years and became a shuttlecock between the Planning Commission and the provincial government on various issues related to funding, capacity, execution etc. Wapda, which was too engaged in the process, was also directed in the past to explore financing avenues for the project. However, the international donors, especially the ADB didn’t agree to fund the project if it executed by the Balochistan government.
He said after the Balochistan government’s failure in securing funds from the donors for the project, the federal government finally agreed to fund the project under PSDP. However, it, too, failed to allocate adequate funds in this regard. And finally, the government started pushing Balochistan government to withdraw from executing the project, paving the way for securing funds from the ADB.
The Wapda management one and half years back took up the issue with the government besides engaging the ADB in the process which sought a couple of more studies required before execution of the project.
“Since the detailed design and feasibility study are already completed, Wapda got two more studies carried out according to guidelines of the ADB.
The official said Wapda would also contribute some money in the form of equity in the project’s funding.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018