The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide Rs26.6bn ($195mn) for the construction of the much-delayed Naulong dam in Baluchistan, after the provincial government agreed to issue an NOC (no objection certificate) next week, allowing the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to execute it.
“The ADB has agreed to fund the project, as it has included it in its business plan,” a spokesman for the bank has said 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,” a 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 Wapda official said, requesting anonymity.
Located on Mula River – about 30km from Gandava Town in Baluchistan’s Jhal Magsi district – the 4.4MW Naulong project was planned to be launched in 2009, with completion in 2012.
However, the project – a zoned earth fill 186’ dam with 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 and so on.
The Wapda, which was also engaged in the process, was directed in the past to explore financing avenues for the project.
However, international donors, especially the ADB, declined to fund the project if it executed by the Baluchistan government.
After the Baluchistan government failed to secure funds from donors for the project, the federal government agreed to fund the project under the PSDP.
However, it too, failed to allocate adequate funds in this regard.
And finally, the government started pushing Baluchistan government to withdraw from executing the project, paving the way for securing funds from the ADB.
One and a half years ago the Wapda management took up the issue with the government as well as engaging the ADB in the process, which sought more studies.
“Since the detailed design and feasibility study are already completed, the Wapda got two more studies carried out according to guidelines of the ADB,” the Wapda official said.
He added that the Wapda would also contribute some money in the form of equity in the project’s funding.
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