The Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the Water and Power Development Authority will conduct an inquiry into the “failure” of the 969 megawatts Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project and hire international experts for the investigation process.
According to sources, the Ministry of Water Resources and Wapda have started the investigation process and the former has sought expressions of interest from international research companies.
After the investigation by international experts, the ministry will determine the officials responsible for the project’s “failure”.
The sources said the investigation would determine whether it was a bad design or substandard construction behind the “failure”.
The Ministry of Water Resources said that Wapda had been entrusted with investigating the damage caused to the Mohmand dam by the recent devastating floods. “Wapda started the investigation process and prepared a summary.”
The ministry said that the summary would be sent to the prime minister next week after which the investigation process would kick off.
It said that Wapda also proposed to conduct an investigation into the damage caused to the Mohmand Dam by a third party expert.
The Neelum–Jhelum hydropower plant was part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power scheme in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, designed to divert water from the Neelum River to a power station on the Jhelum River.
Construction of the project began in 2008 after a Chinese consortium was awarded the construction contract in July 2007.
After delay of many years, the first generator was commissioned in April 2018 and the entire project was completed in August 2018 when the fourth and last unit was synchronised with the national grid on August 13 and attained its maximum generation capacity of 969MW on August 14, 2018.