016-i. Advisory review: EIA for Ghazi Barotha hydropower project - Pakistan

The NCEA issued an advisory review of an EIA executive summary for the Ghazi Barotha hydropower project. Based on a response of the World Bank to the NCEA's review, an additional review was issued. The NCEA concluded that no solution had been provided for a number of issues that it indicated in its first review.

Advisory reports and other documents

10 Apr 1995: Advisory review
Appendices Advice
20 Nov 1995: Advisory review
Appendices Advice

Significant details

The Pakistan Water and Power Authority (WAPDA) intended to implement the Ghazi-Barotha hydropower project. This project would be located in the northern Indus river plain. Its main objective was to solve the acute shortage of power in Pakistan. A number of feasibility and design studies were executed for this project. The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation asked the NCEA to review the EIA executive summary. This summary was prepared for the World Bank to support its decision-making on whether or not to provide a loan for construction. The NCEA's review did not concern the complete EIA report, and therefore only an advisory review on headlines. Concerning this summary, the NCEA's review revealed that a large amount of information was available, but yet a number of issues were not covered:

  • No small-scale alternatives were considered;
  • The assessment of environmental impacts did not contribute to the choice for a project;
  • Environmental impacts of reservoir silting up are not covered;
  • There are no contingency plans if the dam bursts;
  • Results of public participation and their use in decision-making are not clear;
  • No information is provided on the institutional structures relevant for implementation and control, in particular on the degree of independence of the supervisory body;

The NCEA recommended that the missing information be supplemented.

The World Bank replied to the NCEA’s advisory review in an Office Memorandum. The NCEA took this response into account and then submitted an additional advisory review. In this additional review, it remarked the following:

  • The independence of the supervisory bodies had not been confirmed in the Office Memorandum;
  • The Memorandum did not contain information about a contingency plan;
  • Neither did it contain information on environmental impacts of the reservoir silting up.

The World Bank approved the loan for this project in December 1995.

Article on Ghazi Barotha was taken from Pakistan Observer dd. 1 November 2006.  

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Albert van Dijk

Chair: Jan-Willem Kroon
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Water and Power Development Authority WAPDA

Component Authority
World Bank

Further details

Country: Pakistan

Last modified: 09 Apr 2019