ISLAMABAD: The Engineering, Procurement & Construction Contractor for 102MW Gulpur Hydropower Project has stopped construction activities and evacuated the project site due to recent security threats posed by Indian Border Action Team.

Daelim Industrial Co Ltd of South Korea leading the joint venture for the construction left the project site Sunday morning by evacuating all the foreigners and local employees for their safety and security.

The 102MW Gulpur Hydropower Project is located in district Kotli of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and so far forty percent of the project progress has been achieved. The project is being implemented by Mira Power Limited a subsidiary of KOEN, Daelim and Lotte.

Despite the efforts of concerned law enforcement agencies to beef up the security of the Project, the contractor decided to evacuate project site as the safety of his employees was paramount and any mishap may lead to divestment of the efforts made by Daelim to secure other projects in Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

An unconventional threat where Indian BAT is planning to target Gulpur Hydropower Project by planting IEDs has never been received before nor has any development project been the target of such a threat. Concerns escalated when Indian print and electronic media launched a propaganda campaign maintaining that Daelim has backed out from the ongoing projects as IFC, ADB and KEXIM Bank expressed their inability to finance the project in disputed area of Jammu & Kashmir.

Korean investors also feel discriminated against as projects under CPEC are being looked after by special security force/division of armed forces formulated under CPEC agreement between Pakistan and China whereas Koreans are left at the mercy of untrained policemen. The dilemma is Korean investors are also forced to pay the salaries and perks to the policemen deployed to provide security whereas in case of CPEC projects NEPRA has recently approved security cost for CPEC projects.

Daelim along with other South Korean companies are determined to harvest the hydropower potential in Azad Jammu & Kashmir for which due diligence study of 500MW Chakothi Hattian Hydropower Project located in district Hattian has been completed and issuance of LOS is under process. The estimated project cost would be 1.3 billion dollars and project is expected to be completed in 6 years.

Daelim along with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company and Lotte Engineering and Construction Company has been awarded LOI for 350MW Authmuqam Hydropower Project located in district Authmuqam of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The feasibility study is underway and consortium is determined to implement the project on fast track basis. The estimated project cost is 875 million dollars and the project is expected to be completed in 5 years.

When contacted one of the members working on the project confirmed that the contractor has left the site after receiving the threat alert.