The Engineering, Procurement & Construction Contractor for 102MW Gulpur Hydropower Project has stopped the construction activities and evacuated the project site due to recent security threats of Indian Boarder Action Team.
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Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd of South Korea leading the joint venture for the construction has left the project site this morning by evacuating all the foreigners and local employees for their safety and security. The 102MW Gulpur Hydropower Project is located in district Kotli of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and so far forty percent of the project progress has been achieved. The project is being implemented by Mira Power Limited a subsidiary of KOEN, Daelim and Lotte.
Despite the efforts of concern law and enforcement agencies to beef up the security of the Project, the Contractor decided to evacuate project site as the safety of its employees is paramount and any mishap may lead to divestment of the efforts made by Daelim to secure other projects in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
An unconventional threat where Indian Boarder Action Team (BAT) is planning to target Gulpur Hydropower Project by implanting IEDs has never been received before nor has any development project been target on such parameters. The concerns escalated when Indian print and electronic media targeted Daelim on propaganda that Daelim has backed out from the ongoing projects as IFC, ADB and KEXIM bank expressed their inability to finance the project in disputed areas of Jammu & Kashmir.
Korean investors also feels discrimination as the projects under CPEC are being looked after by special security force/division of armed forces formulated under CPEC Agreement between Pakistan and China whereas Koreans are left at the mercy of untrained policemen who do not hold such skills to counter terrorism. The dilemma is Korean investors are also forced to pay the salaries and perks to such deployed policemen whereas in case of CPEC projects NEPRA has recently approved security cost for CPEC projects only which itself a discrimination towards other investors and against the constitution of Pakistan.
Daelim along with other South Korean companies are determined to harvest the hydropower potential in Azad Jammu & Kashmir for which due diligence study of 500MW Chakothi Hattian Hydropower Project located in district Hattian has been completed and issuance of LOS is under process. The estimated project cost would be 1.3 billion dollars and project is expected to complete in 6 year time.
Daelim along with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company and Lotte Engineering and Construction Company has been awarded LOI for 350MW Authmuqam Hydropower Project located in district Authmuqam of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The feasibility study is under its way and consortium is determined to implement the project on fast track. The estimated project cost would be 875 million dollars and project is expected to complete in 5 year time.
The Government of Pakistan must establish policies which should not discriminate among investors and must formulate in a comprehensive way to counter the baseless propaganda particularly related to the development projects. Furthermore the GOP must find a way to accommodate companies interested to invest in Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir’s power sector in terms of security and safety particularly to counter such kind of hostile treatment by Indians.