Wapda chairman Muhammad Shakil Durrani forced out, extension denied
Islamabad (Daily TheNews / September 9, 2012) – Muhammad Shakil Durrani is no more Wapda chairman as he relinquished the charge on Saturday after completing his tenure of five years, a senior official at Ministry of Water and Power told ‘The News’.
Wapda Member (Water) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah has taken the charge of Wapda chairman on temporarily basis. When contacted, Mr Durrani confirmed that he was no more Wapda chairman and he had quit the post after the expiry of his 5-year tenure.
The official said that Federal Minister for Water and Power Ch Ahmad Mukhtar had sent a summary to prime minister seeking the one-year extension in the tenure of Shakil Durrani as Wapda chairman. All the top mandarins in the ministry were quite hopeful that Mr Durrani would be given extension but Prime Minister Secretariat remained unmoved over the summary.
However, Prime Minister Secretariat has extended the tenure of Syed Raghib Abbas Shah as Member Wapda.
The official disclosed that federal minister Ch Ahmad Mukhtar had planned to visit China along with the then Wapda chairman and special secretary for the release of credit line of $448 million of most important Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project, but at the eleventh hour, Mr Durrani refused to go to China on the ground that his tenure would expire and he would not accompany the minister during the visit to Beijing without having the extension as he would have no official capacity to represent Wapda.
Mr Durrani played a pivotal role in accelerating the pace of construction of Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project and to this effect he managed to import the high-tech two Tunnel Boring Machines of worth $93 million to complete the project by 2016.
He took this decision to complete the said project before the completion of Kishenganga project which India is constructing on the river Neelum in held Kashmir. In case India builds its project first, it will have the water priority rights of the river Neelum on which Pakistan is building Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project with the capacity to generate 969 MW electricity.
And if the project does not experience any fiscal constraints, it will be completed by 2016 and this will help grab Pakistan the water priority right of the river Neelum and the credit will directly go to Mr Durrani.