WAPDA engineers’ body calls out Dasu Hydropower GM appointment amid rule breach claims

By By Munawar Hasan
April 13, 2024
A view of construction happening at the site of the Dasu Hydropower Project. — X/wapda_pr/File

LAHORE: The Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is facing internal dissent following the appointment of a general manager/project director of the Dasu Hydropower Project, a move claimed by an employee association to be in violation of the authority's rules and regulations.


The Welfare Association of WAPDA Engineers (WAWE), representing officers within the authority, has written to the chairman of WAPDA expressing concerns over the appointment and cites an office memorandum dated December 5, 2014, which outlines the criteria for acting charge postings, stating that such positions should be filled by the most senior eligible officer through respective promotion boards.

WAPDA has appointed Amir Shafiq ur Rehman, chief engineer, S&D, Dasu HPP as GM/PD, Dasu HPP, Kohistan on Acting Charge (vide office order No. GM(HRD)/DG/(CM)/2339-50 dated 21.03.2024).The engineers' body said that the criteria for such posting is clearly defined for posting of officers on an acting charge basis. It is mentioned in the said rule that “where a senior most officer cannot be promoted against an available vacancy in his cadre for want of some procedural requirement, he can be appointed against the relevant higher post on an Acting Charge basis...”.

Also, according to conditions of the same O.M.: “The acting charge posting will be made through respective promotion boards.”

"Contrary to these provisions, Amir Shafiq ur Rehman is not the senior most officer in his cadre and is much down below the list of chief engineers (civil). Moreover, he has not yet completed the minimum service length of two years as chief engineer, being one of the conditions of posting as GM/PD on an Acting Charge basis," the letter reads."Therefore, posting of Amir Shafiq ur Rehman as GM/PD Dasu HPP on an acting charge basis is contrary to the aforementioned O.M. Resultantly, there is serious unrest among the officers senior to Amir Shafiq ur Rehman and their genuine grievances require your kind attention to review the said posting orders."

The letter said fourteen senior chief engineers/GMs on acting/additional charge have been called for interaction with the chairman. "This confirms that these 14 officers are eligible & are being considered for their regular promotion as GMs in their upcoming promotion board. GM/PD Dasu HPP could have been one of these senior officers," it added. "The posting of Amir Shafiq ur Rehman as GM/PD Dasu HPP has deprived these senior officers of the opportunity despite their considerable service length and rich experience."

The engineers' body said it looks "forward to the posting of GM/PD Dasu HPP, on merit, out of the senior officers, by promotion or posting on an acting charge, in line with the aforementioned O.M under the well-set rules and regulations of WAPDA authority".

It may be noted that Dasu Hydropower Project is a run-of-the-river plant being constructed on the Indus River located 7km upstream of Dasu Town, District Kohistan (Upper), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The site is 74km downstream of the proposed Diamer Basha Dam site and 345km from Islamabad. The project will generate 4,320MW of hydroelectric power with an annual energy of 21445GWh and is being developed in two stages (Stage-I & II). The project is being financed by the World Bank.

Dasu Hydropower Project is one of the priority projects under the Power Policy 2013 and the Vision 2025 of the government of Pakistan.