PESHAWAR - The Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) Board has refused to obey the decision of the PTI leadership regarding handing over of six hydel power projects to Frontier Works Organisation without following due process, it is learnt reliably here yesterday.

Earlier, the PTI-led government was saying that they would invite international tenders for 13 hydel power projects but now suddenly they are asking the provincial authorities to hand over six of the projects to FWO, an official privy to the development told The Nation.

Last week, the KP leadership decided handing over of five hydel power projects having the combined capacity of 719MW electricity to Frontier Work Organisation (FWO).

This decision was made at a high-level meeting held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House Islamabad. PTI Chairman Imran Khan, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, KP Minister for Energy Muhammad Atif Khan, Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, DG FWO Major General Muhammad Afzal and high-ups of energy, PEDO and communication departments attended the meeting.

Director General FWO informed the meeting that the Chinese government had agreed for provision of financial assistance for the implementation of six hydel projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The chief minister then directed to hand over Balakot, Bata Kondi, Naran, Ghorband, Shagokas and Nandihar hydel power projects to FWO for implementation under the prescribed rules. The CM also ordered to complete all formalities in this regard soon.

However, the official said that the projects cannot be handed over to any company without following the prescribed rules. “First they have to invite international tenders and the projects will be handed over to the successful bidders,” the source said. The allotment of the contracts to FWO without following proper rules and regulations will jeopardise PTI’s credibility in private sector and belie its transparency claims, the official said.

PEDO Chief Executive Officer Akbar Ayub Khan is of the firm belief that he will never violate the rule of PEDO, the official informed.

Similarly the PEDO’s board also refused to grant the permission to the decision, the source said. Besides, the directive of the PTI leadership, for handing over five projects to FWO, is also violation of provincial Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules, the official added.

The official, however, said that as a chief executive of the province Pervez Khattak can order special waiver for allotting the project to FWO. But despite the insistence of PTI leadership the CM is reluctant to issue the waiver as he is scared it may invite an accountability probe into the matter.

Now the PTI government may grant the waiver through the provincial cabinet but even then the final signatory will be the Chief Minister KP, the official said.

The PEDO’s board may also not help the government in this regard, as they have already told the PTI leadership that it is the violation of the rule, the official said.

A meeting to resolve the issue will be held today (Wednesday) in Islamabad and will be attended by the CM KP, PEDO officials, PTI leadership and FWO.

The official said that FWO is very efficient and fast in road construction but in hydel set it is yet to be tried. However, he said that it is good if the projects were handed over to FWO as it will save the province at least 18 months time. “If you are following the rules and regulation you need at least extra 18 months for completing the bidding process,” the official maintained.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Energy Minister Atif Khan was not available for comments despite several attempts.