NCC Identifies Problematic Transport Projects Which Wasted Foreign Support

The National Coordination Committee — Foreign Funded Projects (NCC-FFP) has identified three problematic projects of the transport and communication sector where only $19 million was disbursed against the foreign commitment of $636 million during the last five years.

The total portfolio of the communication sector is $6 billion against 13 projects, of which $4.7 billion has been disbursed and $1.3 billion remain un-disbursed.

The three problematic projects have a portfolio of $636 million where $19 million was disbursed during the last five years.

The NCC has reviewed foreign-funded projects of the transport and communication sector and has directed the implementation agency — the National Highway Authority (NHA) — to expedite the process.


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One of the three projects is the World Bank-funded Khyber Pass Economic Corridor. It has a portfolio of $461 million, while the NHA and the Planning and Development Department of Khyber Pakhtunkwa are the implementing agencies. The loan was signed on 13 December 2019, and its closing date is 28 May 2026. However, no amount has been disbursed so far.

According to the documents, the major issues were the opening of a designated account and the delay in the selection of a design consultant and the bid for a civil works contract.

The NHA has now opened a designated account, while according to it, the process for the prequalification of the contractors is on track for the timeline of June 2021. The NCC has directed the Ministry of Communication to vigorously monitor its progress and ensure the awarding of the contracts within the timeline.

Furthermore, the NHA has been directed to expedite the selection of a consultant for the preparations of the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and a resettlement plan of action for the southern link road.

Another problematic project is the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project ‘CAREC Corridor Development Investment Program-Tranche 1 (N-55, 143 km)’. The NHA is the implementation agency of this project. The loan agreement of $120 million was signed on 18 December 2017, and its closing date is 31 December 2022. However, only $19 million has been disbursed so far.

A major issue in the project was the non-availability of the land record for (eight km) out of 64 km of the Petaro-Sehwan section by the Government of Sindh, and the slow progress on the Peshawar-Dara Adam Khel Road section due to the poor performance of the contractor (NIC & Karcon).

It was decided in an earlier meeting of the NCC-FFP that the Chair NCC/Minister EAD would write a DO letter to the Chief Minister of Sindh. The NHA and the Government of Sindh had to jointly draw up timelines for the resolution of the non-provision of the land record issue and share the same with the EAD.

According to the latest information, eight km of the Ratodero-Shikarpur (44 kms) land record was made available but the transfer is yet to be processed at the provincial level.

The ADB reports continued slow progress on the Peshawar-Dera Adam Khel Road section owing to the poor performance of the contractor (NIC & Karcon). The NHA attributes the slow pace of work to the pandemic. JS (ADB) has requested the SMBR, GoS to facilitate the smooth transfer of eight km of land, and SMBR, GoS has committed to the facilitation of the process.

The third problematic project is the Saudi Fund Development (SFD) funded two tunnels on the Chella Bandi Patika Road, AJK,  at a cost of $55 million, for which the NHA is the implementation agency. The loan agreement was signed on 10 March 2016, and the closing date was initially 31 December 2020. However, no amount has been disbursed so far.

The major issue in the project was a four-year delay in the execution of the project due to the tardiness of the NHA. The SFD has established a new project extension date until 31 December 2024.


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According to the documents, on 4 January 2021, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) approved the recommendations of the report presented by the NHA with the following decisions; (i) the NHA will carry out a fresh feasibility study of the project; (ii) the Government of AJ&K will take action against the consultant for the inadequate feasibility of the study; (iii) The EAD, in consultation with Ministry of Communication/the NHA, will engage with Saudi Arabia for the availability of funds for the project.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs had requested the Ministry of Communication to provide alternate financing and a project proposal regarding the diversion of the funds from the tunnel to the road project for the sharing of the same with the SFD vide 4 February 2021, and a subsequent reminder vide 30 March 2021, but no response has come from the Ministry of Communication.

The NCC has directed the Ministry of Communication to monitor the progress on the recommendations of the CDWP.



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