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Saturday July 02, 2022

‘Don’t think NAB case against me politically motivated,’ says ex-Wapda chief

"Everything is clear from my side now and will go again whenever NAB asks me to appear before it," says Muzammil Hussain

By Web Desk
June 20, 2022
Former Wapda chairman Muzammil Hussain.
Former Wapda chairman Muzammil Hussain.  

LAHORE: Former Water and Power Development Agency (Wapda) chairman retired Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain Monday said that in his view case against him was not “politically motivated”.

Speaking to the media after appearing before the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Lahore office, Muzammil Hussain said the total cost of the project was Rs753 million then how come Rs753 million could be misappropriated.

He also denied the allegation of clearing payments to the contractors before time.

“The Tarbela-IV project was completed ahead of its deadline and the cost was recovered in one year,” the former Wapda chief said after spending two hours at the NAB office.

“I don’t think there are political reasons behind this case. NAB received a complaint against me and sought to verify it.”

Muzammil said he replied to all the queries and has not been given any questionnaire.

“Everything is clear from my side now and will go again whenever NAB asks me to appear before it.”

The case against the Wapda chief pertains to the premature operation of Tunnel-4 of Tarbela Dam, which caused losses worth billions of rupees in 2018.

The anti-graft body summoned Muzammil Hussain after he quit the job last month.

It was reported by this newspaper that Wapda had inaugurated the $850 million Tarbela-IV project in March, despite warnings from the German engineering consultant, Voith, not to operate the turbine of the fourth tunnel at Tarbela Dam while its reservoir was at the dead level. 

However, Wapda went ahead and ran the turbine for several hours during the inauguration of the project by the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. As a result, mud and slurry from the practically empty reservoir filled part of the tunnel, rendering three turbines inoperable.

Since the Tarbela Dam reservoir was at the dead storage level in March, the only little water available for use during the inauguration ceremony was located in the flushing inlet and full of silt. The result was a daily loss of Rs280 million.

Former PM Imran Khan took notice of the report and had ordered a probe, which said, "It is determined from the statements of M(P), Adviser Projects WAPDA, CE (O&M) and the PD T4HPP that the date of inauguration was made without their consultation and also not at the Authority level of WAPDA, rather, it was done at the level of Chairman WAPDA.”

The report calculated a total loss of $753 million during the execution of the Tunnel-4 Tarbela project and it includes the losses incurred because of serious faults that occurred owing to the premature inauguration of the project in March 2018.