TIP fails to get WAPDA contract for meters
* Contract given to private Pakistani manufacturers
* WAPDA denies favouritism
By Khawaja Naseer and Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has refused to give the Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) a contract for electricity meters after the company delayed shipments of several previous consignments.
WAPDA General Manager (Monitoring and Coordination) Anwar Khalid told Daily Times that TIP had delayed the supply of 42,000 meters. He said TIP had failed to supply 14,000 single-phase meters in 2000. “The company failed to supply 42,000 of the total 150,000 meters in another contract in 2001,” he added. But WAPDA is being accused of favouring another manufacturer, Escorts Pakistan Limited, despite complaints that it provided faulty meters and delayed shipments. TIP and WAPDA sources said WAPDA extended the delivery period of an earlier tender given to three private local manufacturers, including Escorts.
Sources cited a letter dated July 10, 2003, from Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) – WAPDA’s power distributor – that asked the general manager (monitoring and coordination) to refuse the supply of Escorts’ meters to MEPCO until a detailed re-inspection of the meters found defective could be carried out. They said the letter also referred to a letter by Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) dated September 19, 2002, about complaints against Escorts’ meters.
A report by WAPDA chief engineer (maintenance and inspection) defended Escorts. The report said only one meter had been found defective in the lot complained about. “So there is no need to re-test those meters and instead of delaying the supply to MEPCO as requested, MEPCO should appoint its own engineers for sample-testing.”
The report said faulty meters would be replaced as no further testing of the meters would be allowed and no testing site would be made available to MEPCO, but it could send its engineers to inspect the new lot.
However, immediately after awarding a contract for 300,000 meters to Escorts on July 5, 2003, the chief engineer in charge of material inspections asked the company - through a letter dated July 8, 2003- to improve the quality of its meters.
Sources said that instead of owning responsibility and halting supplies from Escorts till such time that the quality improved, WAPDA was not agreeing with field complaints. Sources also cited a case against the company and some WAPDA officials with the National Accountability Bureau for an earlier supply of electronic TOU meters.
Sources said WAPDA first extended the delivery date for a purchase order dated December 10, 2002, for 200,000 single-phase electricity meters for the local company by some more months on January 7, 2003. Later, the WAPDA chief engineer (purchase and disposal), on July 17, 2003, wrote to the local companies Escorts, Syed Bhais, and PEL, and again extended the delivery period for the 200,000 meters till October 31, 2003. The second extension was given through an amendment in the supply order.
WAPGA GM (Monitoring and Coordination) Mr Khalid told Daily Times that 8,000 meters supplied by Escorts were found to be defective. “The party concerned has been directed to replace those meters immediately.” He added that the 6,000 defective meters found in Multan and 2,000 in Lahore “might have been damaged due to the suppliers’ negligence”. He said most of the meters were damaged during transportation, loading and unloading.
The GM pointed out that he had been a supervising contractor for the last three years and had put his best efforts into promoting local manufacturers to boost the Pakistani industry. He said WAPDA Chairman Lt General (r) Zulfiqar Ali Khan had held a detailed meeting with local manufacturers and TIP was rejected for not meeting WAPDA’s targets.
Regarding the extension of the local cartel’s supply date to October 31, 2003, the GM said the extension was given “because of general inspection, for which the supply has been suspended”. He said WAPDA was trying its best for a transparent deal with the private sector. He said that under the transparent accountability mechanism, no one would be spared for misdeeds.