ISLAMABAD: The cost of 134 ongoing development projects in the country has surged by Rs945.22 billion due to increase in the rate of dollar and technical errors.
According to official documents available with Express News, the cost of Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project has soared by Rs389 billion while that of Kachhi canal by Rs49.140 billion, Mangla dam expansion project by Rs35.30 billion, Pakistan Railways engine purchase project by Rs32.79 billion and Gwadar airport by Rs14.57 billion.
The reason behind the huge surge is said to be rise in the dollar’s value, financial difficulties, changes in project designs and mismanagement by the companies working on the projects.
Also Read: The rising dollar
During the past 10 years, the federal governments started work on 822 development projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of which the cost of 134 projects increased.
The cost of 22 development projects of the Ministry of Water Resources rose by Rs648.21 billion, while that of railways’ by Rs57 billion.
The documents state that due to technical faults in the development projects, the food security projects suffered a loss of Rs14.10 billion, housing projects Rs17.64 billion and that of the communications department Rs135.380 billion.
Due to delay in the projects of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs, Rs14.920 billion loss was suffered, while due to the same reason the treasury division’s projects suffered a loss of Rs11.480 billion, the aviation division’s projects Rs15.120 billion and interior division’s Rs4 billion.
The documents mention that the cost of the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project witnessed the highest increase of Rs389.681 billion.
The costs of the Kachhi canal project increased by Rs49.148 billion, expansion of Mangla dam project by Rs34.302 billion, restoration project of National Highway Authority network – due to rains – rose by Rs26.297 billion and the project of 75 diesel electric locomotives of railways by Rs32.7959 billion.
According to the documents, the cost of Gwadar airport increased by Rs14.57 billion, Lowari Road Tunnel and Access Road project increased by Rs18.86 billion.
The cost of improvement in nine projects of the National Highway Development Sector Project rose by Rs18.71 billion. The cost of Golan Gol hydropower project increased by Rs22.42 billion, Keyal Khwar hydropower project, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by Rs19.171 billion, the construction cost of the Shadi Khor dam, Gwadar increased by Rs5.290 billion and the prime minister hepatitis programme increased by Rs11.310 billion.
(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on May 22nd, 2019)