OBOR – A Chinese Construction company mistreated by GRC – took to the streets for justice

A group of Chinese protestants stood outside the head office of Ghulam Rasool & Company (GRC) on Wednesday, 6th of July, 2022. The group of people belonged to One Belt One Road Construction & Engineering (Pvt.) Ltd. (OBOR). The Main Street near Old Bahawalpur Rd, 6-A Lalazar Colony, Multan, Punjab was filled with cries for justice raised by the protestants. They held a banner which read:

GRC cheat and threatened the Chinese contractor

Why was the group protesting against GRC?

According to media reports, OBOR was working as the subcontractor of GRC for the 84MW Gorkin Matiltan hydropower project since 2019. However, problems begin to arise when the group realized that GRC had concealed the complete drawings, especially the real geological conditions, of the project from them. This obscurity caused huge variations in design, construction sequences, and cost which impacted OBOR drastically.

Over time, OBOR also realized that GRC had provided them with a site which was not ready for work. It featured no safety precautions and preparations. Without realising the consequences, GRC issued a commencement order anyway. To this date, GRC has still not put any fences around the site camp to separate it from the rest of the area. Problems further intensified when GRC supplied unqualified materials to OBOR for the completion of the project.

OBOR tried to find a solution with Talks and Discussion

When the site situation became critical, OBOR reached out to GRC officials to hold talks. During the discussion, the construction company officials reported arising issues to the personnel, looking to sort the matter through negotiation.
However, GRC ignored OBOR’s efforts for reasonable communication and replied with a ridiculous claim from their side. They asked OBOR company to compensate for their expenses everywhere including the UAE office, etc.

The situation of OBOR worsened

GRC hadn’t paid OBOR since last year which forced the company to hold back on supplier and employee payments. Soon the workers start to speak up, forcing OBOR to make fair demands from GRC. When OBOR officials reached out to GRC officials to resolve all issues before Eid-ul-Adha, GRC management replied:

We have a strict schedule these days and your demand for an urgent meeting is ethically, contractually, and legally not appreciable.

Regardless of their discourteous reply, the OBOR company went to GRC’s Multan head office to urge them to solve the problems. However, the company said:

We have started our Eid holidays early, so no one can discuss this with the OBOR company now.

GRC has a habit of mistreating Construction Companies

OBOR company only recently learned that a similar situation has occurred previously in 2019 too. This is not the first time GRC and a Chinese subcontractor have been in a dispute.

About the 84MW Gorkin Matiltan Hydropower Project and OBOR

The 84 MW Gorkin Matiltan HPP is a run-off river project located on the Ushu river for the production of cheaper and renewable annual energy generation of about 346 GWh, which shall be sold to NTDC/PESCO through the Existing Grid System at Madyan.
The OBOR Group is a comprehensive and multi-service entity made up of business units specialised in a wide range of activities, from marketing to distribution between China and Europe. The team of OBOR has worked in Pakistan for 6 years and hopes to continue working here for a longer period.
OBOR hopes that relevant authorities value the services the company has been extending to the country with fair and just treatment. They hope that officials take note of their protest and look forward to a solution that benefits them reasonably.

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