SC to investigate Mubarakmand’s Project

Islamabad: A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the case and expressed its extreme displeasure at the Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project which produces 8MW energy after the expenditure of Rs3.8 Billion of taxpayers’ money. The Chief Justice termed it a total failure. The court appointed Advocates Salman Akram Raja and Riaz Elahi as amicus curiae and directed the setting up of a committee of scientists and Experts to investigate irregularities in the execution of the project.

The Court highlighted the fact that funds had been released from time to time but still only 8MW energy had been produced against the claims of 100MW by Dr. Samar Mubarakmand The prosecutor general National Accountability Bureau has been ordered to investigate the Dr. and other officials for producing only 8MW electricity despite spending Rs 3.4 billion on the project. The science and technology department of the Planning Commission had approved the project for 100MW electricity to be generated through the UCG. Its cost was Rs 9 billion and was scheduled to be completed within two years but the project went into hibernation for over one-and-a-half year and was launched in October 2012 when the department released Rs 900 million. Later, Rs 1,000 million was released in 2013-14 and Rs 1,000 million for the project were released in 2014-15. The project was then transferred to the energy department of the PC which released Rs 360 million and then completely stopped funding in 2016-17

Dr Samar Mubarakmand in an interview to a private channel had lashed out at the previous government and claimed that his project was being sabotaged. He said that Rs 9 Billion had been approved for his project and he had started generation with just 3 billion. Further funding was stopped by the government without any reason. He pleaded that his project was designed to use Local coal but still it was being pushed to the sidelines by the people who had vested interests in imported coal projects