Islamabad        -        The cost of Naulong dam in Balochistan has escalated by more than 143 percent because of delay of almost 11 years in construction, official documents reveals.

The cost of the Naulong Dam has been increased from  Rs11.7 billion in 2009 to Rs28.47 billion, said the documents available with The Nation.

As per the original PC-I of the project approved in 2009, the total cost of the project was Rs11.7 billion with the Foreign Exchange Component (FEC) of Rs1.33 billion. Similarly in the 2nd revised PC-I approved in 2015 the cost was increased to Rs18.03 billion.

Now once again the cost of the project was upward revised to Rs 28.47 billion. The Asian Development Bank would provide 80 per cent (Rs 20.13 billion) funds for the project. The remaining 20 percent will be shared by the federal government and government of Balochistan.

The Federal government would provide Rs5.032 billion and the provincial government will provide Rs3.31 billion.

The project was approved by ECNEC in 2009 and had a completion time of four years, however work on the project was not initiated. The original PC- I was revised due to high bid cost of Rs26 billion received in April 2010.

The 1st revised PC-I was approved in August 2012, however the same once again could be executed due to high bid cost received supposed to be completed in four years. WAPDA had submitted 2nd revised PC-I of the project with Rs26.547 billion. The project was discussed in CDWP

The project is located on Mula River at Sunt about 30 km from Gandawa City in District Jhal Magsi of Balochistan Province and will have the storage capacity of 242163 Acre Feet.

The total cultivable command area of the project has been increased from earlier proposed 9900 Acres to 47000 acres while the proposed power generation capacity of the project was increased from ealier 2660 GWh to 4.4 MW. Beside irrigation purpose the project will mitigate flood intensity, provide drinking water to the nearby population and recharge ground water.

The project has approved by the CDWP and will be completed in five years. The government has allocated Rs800 million in the PSDP 2019-20.

The technical appraisal section has raised several questions about the hydrology and seismic of the area. For example it was observed that the project is located in Seismic Zone-3 of Pakistan, the PC-I is silent about seismic data.

The sponsor should intimate about code adopted in the deisgn of dam for seismic purpose. About the water availability data the section noted that it seems unrealistic as MAR shows that project area falls in arid zone where rainfall is too scarcity to fill the dam but the Mean Annual Flow and PMF shows that the hydrology of the area is quite rich to fulfill the dam requirements.