Thar Power Coal Project CJP orders probe into alleged corruption


Staff Report


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar while ordering the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate allegations of corruption in Thar Coal Power Project observed that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari should help the people of Thar.

The CJP Thursday took up for hearing the case pertaining to alleged corruption in project funds by Dr Samar Mubarak.

During the course of hearing, CJP remarked, “we want a solution of food deficiency and water issues in Thar.” Adding that the government needed to work on emergency basis for resolving issues of Thar and gave two weeks’ time to the government for showing progress.

Additional Attorney General Nayyar Rizvi said that Thar Coal power generation project would produce 1320 megawatts of electricity with the cost of 1.912 million dollars. However, he added the project couldn’t be started till then.

CJP while addressing Dr Samar remarked, “You had to create 100 megawatts of electricity from the project, but what progress have you made on the project?” the CJP added that the court wanted forensic audit of Thar Coal project.

“Your planning has been failed in the project,” the CJP further observed. Adding, “You had claimed that Pakistan would have been enriched with electricity but such didn’t happen so.” “Rs13.4 billion had been spent on this project only to produce mere 8 megawatts of electricity.”

“Has the project been sent to NAB for investigation?” the CJP asked, then ordered NAB to present compliance report of underground Thar Coal power project.

The CJP remarked that NAB should investigate about how many misappropriations have been made in the project.

“We will make a review that where such a hefty amount of money were spent?”

CJP observed, “A team comprising audit experts, scientists and environment experts will also be constituted in this regard.”

SC while appointing counsel Salman Akram Raja and Shehzad Illahi as amici curiae remarked that they should present report before court after reviewing record that how much loss has been incurred upon the national exchequer.

Bottled water case

Moreover, the apex court also took up the case regarding use of water by bottled water companies for hearing.

During the course of hearing, CJP remarked, five fake water companies had been caught a day earlier and the water of other big companies was not according to the standard quality. Adding that the mineral water companies had been using water worth billions of rupees for free.

A company’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan took the plea that price of water in Pakistan was too high adding that Nestle company was ready to pay the price fixed by the court.

CJP remarked, “We have no concern with the water price in the world.” Adding that the court won’t allow free usage of water by mineral water companies.

“The companies sell water for Rs50 after purchasing it of just one rupee,” CJP remarked.

“Water use to flow from taps but now taps became dry due to presence of motors of water mineral companies,” he added.

“Boring in Lahore has been gone deep as deep as 400 feet. I have requested general public to stop drinking mineral water bottles,” CJP observed.

CJP observed that “An industry that makes the country barren should be closed.”

Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan observed that billions of rupees have been accumulated now the money should be repaid to country.