ISLAMABAD : The Supreme Court on Wednesday sent the case regarding auction of Winder Dam contract to the dispute resolution committee for decision on the matter. A division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam ordered that the committee should decide the matter after hearing the stance of the construction association. The committee should keep the issue of transparency before it while deciding the matter, the bench said. “The association could bring the matter to the court in case of its dissatisfaction,” the bench remarked. Earlier, the counsel of the construction firms argued in the hearing that the contract should have been awarded to the bidder having experience of construction of a dam. “The bids of 10 construction firms were rejected and the contract was awarded violating the rules of bidding,” the counsel further argued.“The government engineer himself admitted that the rules have been violated in awarding the contract,” the counsel said. Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard a petition of the government of Balochistan against the Balochistan High Court’s decision on auction of the Winder Dam contract.The Balochistan High Court had ordered for an open auction of awarding the construction project of the dam. The provincial government has challenged the high court decision in the apex court and a division bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam heard the case. Justice Mushir Aliam said that the national importance project could not be halted as the delay would also enhance the costs of the project. “The delay in the project could soar the cost from Rs10 billion to Rs50 billion,” Justice Qazi Amin remarked. It is pertinent to mention here that for construction of Winder Dam, the tender of the project was opened on September 28, 2009 and awarded to a joint venture of Canadian and Pakistani consultants and contractors. Due to failure of the contractor to provide performance guarantee, the contract was cancelled. An earth-core rock-fill dam will create gross storage of 36,484 acre feet of water to irrigate 10,000 acres of command area and its power house will generate 300 kW electricity.The Winder Dam project will now be constructed at the cost of Rs 15.230 billion. Federal government will finance the project entirely, which would be executed by the Irrigation Department of Balochistan government. The main objective of the project is to provide 50 cusecs assured irrigation water supply to irrigate 10,000 acres of agriculture land round the year with average cropping intensity of 82 percent. Winder Dam located across Winder River about 100 km from Karachi in Lasbela District of Balochistan will also generate 0.3 megawatt electricity.
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