Sino-Pak companies move PHC to claim power project contract

Published October 13, 2021
A file photo of the Peshawar High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File
A file photo of the Peshawar High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday directed the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (Pedo) to respond in 10 days to the plea filed by a joint venture of the Chinese and Pakistani engineering firms to seek the contract of operation and maintenance services of Daral Khwar hydropower project in Swat district.

A bench consisting of Justice Roohul Amin Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar also extended a stay order granted in favour of the petitioner, restraining the Pedo from hiring staff for managing the O&M services of the project by itself after the cancellation of the contract process.

The petitioner, Cemtec-Jiangsu JV, said it was the lowest bidder in the tendering process but instead of awarding it the contract of the O&M Services of the 36.6MW Daral Khwar hydropower project (DKHP), it was informed that the contract had been cancelled on the direction of the competent authority.

The petitioner claimed that the Pedo intended to undertake those services itself instead of outsourcing it.

PHC seeks Pedo reply to their joint plea

It requested the high court to declare that the Pedo can’t manage the O&M services of the project for being a regulatory body.

The petitioner also sought the court’s orders to declare illegal the impugned order issued on Jan 13, 2020, for the cancellation of the bidding process.

It prayed the court to declare that it (petitioner) being duly qualified and lowest bidder was entitled to the contract of O&M services of the DKHP.

The respondents in the petition are the provincial government through its chief secretary, Pedo through the chairman of its board of directors, Pedo chief executive officer, Pedo chief engineer (O&M) and director (finance), and KP Public Procurement Regulatory Authority through its managing director.

Senior advocate Isaac Ali Qazi appeared for the petitioner and said the Pedo had on Jun 4, 2018, invited applications from local and international firms/ joint ventures for pre-qualification for contract of O&M Services of the said project.

He said the petitioner, which was a joint venture of a Chinese and a Pakistani engineering firms, had submitted pre-qualification application and on Nov 2, 2018, it was informed through a letter by the Pedo that it was enlisted as pre-qualified contractor for participation in the contract bid.

The lawyer said his client later submitted technical and financial bids in Dec 2018 along with Rs 10 million as bid security.

He said in May 2019, the financial bids were opened wherein the petitioner was found to be the lowest bidder for the said services.

The counsel added that as the petitioner had the legitimate expectation to get the contract, it began hiring the staff for the project for the start of work without delay.

He said despite persistent inquiries, nothing was communicated to the petitioner and therefore, it formally sought in Dec 2019 the letter of acceptance as per the bidding documents.

The lawyer, however, said on Jan 13, 2020, the petitioner received a letter from the Pedo about the cancellation of the process of hiring contractor for those services without citing any cogent reason for it.

Mr Qazi contended that the Pedo’s BoD had published an advertisement in Oct 2020 for hiring staff for the purpose.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

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