Serious security lapse at Guddu endangers lives of Chinese

Naimat Khan

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KARACHI: A large-scale security lapse at Guddu Thermal Power Plant in Sukkar has posed a serious threat to the lives of Chinese engineers and other staff, it was reliably learnt on Monday.

Highly credible sources told this scribe that despite being pointed out a serious security lapse by Pakistan Rangers Sindh, no special security measures have been taken yet to save the lives of Chinese Engineers, who had been kidnapped from various projects across Pakistan in the past.

Two Chinese engineers working at the Gomal Zam Dam were kidnapped along with their driver and bodyguard in South Waziristan in 2004.

Guddu Power Plant, which was initially adding 1655 MW to national grade was upgraded and inaugurated by Prime Minister on 21 April this year who had commissioned an additional power units at the Plant, which increased the production from 1655 MW to 2402.

However, despite great significance for Pakistan to fix the country’s serious power crisis, the project has provided no ample security and the security lapse pointed out by the paramilitary force may endanger the precious lives of local and Chinese if not being fixed.

Sources said the sensing threat to their lives due to severe security lapse at the project, the Rangers wrote on 19 July 2014 a warning letter to the management of CPGCL, TPS, Guddu to tighten the security measures for safeguarding the lives of foreigners.

Though in its reply to Rangers through In-Charge Foreigners Security Cell, Home Department Government of Sindh Karachi on 18 August 2014 the Central Power Generation Company Limited has claimed to have taken various measures the company still admits the security must be tightened.

According to sources the Pakistan Rangers vide their letter No 0095/GS (Ops)/2003 dated 19 July 2014 had pointed out the lapse in the security of Chinese Nationals at thermal power station Guddu.

According to the documents, a copy of which is exclusively available with this scribe, the vehicles and persons entering and leaving the power station are not being checked. The Rangers has pointed out that a number of outsiders are residing in the colony of power station, the fact which Rukhsar Ahmed Qureshi, Chief Executive Officer, CPGCL, TPS, Guddu has accepted in his reply to the Sindh Rangers. According to Qureshi there are lots of hurdles in this regards but claims the eviction operation is in progress.

According to Rangers the administration has no record of residents of colony of power station, bio data of residents residing near Chinese personnel has not been collected and details of shop owners in the residential area are not available at the administration.

In addition to that the food stuff supplied to Chinese nationals is not being checked properly. The heights of boundary wall of power station near Abdullah Bhatti village is another problem area in term of the security issue as to the law enforcers it is less than standards height and is being broken at some points whereas search lights have also not been installed on boundary walls. According to Management CPGCL, TPS, Guddu, the work on it is yet to be started however the work order has been issued.

According to sources the details of residents of village Abdullah Bhatti has not been collected whereas aged security guards are being deployed at three watch towers and the remaining 12 are not manned round the clock.

The command and control room is also not being setup to respond security threats, the letter stated. It has also been pointed out that no record of visitors is being maintained at entry and exist points while the entry passes are not issued to workers and visitors. Despite being a sensitive area, the CCTV Cameras are not installed in the facility where locals as well as Chinese nationals are working to produce power for the country.

If it was not enough, no explosive detectors are available while the scanners are also not available and walk through gates too not installed, the paramilitary force of the province points out.

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Author: Naimat

Karachi based journalist, writing on national and international issues.

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