AJK, WAPDA signs agreement for raising Mangla Dam by 30 feet
27 June 2003
News Network International
ISLAMABAD: An agreement for the raising of Mangla Dam by thirty feet was signed by the Ministry of Water and Power, WAPDA and Azad Kashmir Government in Islamabad on Friday. Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan and Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao Minister for Water and Power witnessed the signing ceremony. The signing of the agreement paves the way for beging of work on the project, which will cost about sixty-four billion rupees and completed in six to seven years. With the raising of the Dam, an additional 2.9 million-acre feet of water would be available for irrigation purposes. It would also raise the generation capacity of electricity by three hundred megawatt. Talking to newsmen after the signing ceremony, the AJK Prime Minister said, 'all the grievances of Azad Kashmir regarding raising of Mangla Dam have been amicably settled.' He said more than seventy percent people of Azad Kashmir have access to electricity and raising of Mangla Dam will benefit about three hundred fifty thousand families of Azad Kashmir. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said, 'the agreement provides for twenty-four billion rupees resettlement package. All the old affectees of Mangla Dam will get two hundred thousand rupees per family,' He said the new affectees would be given market price for their land with fifteen percent compulsory acquisition charges. For built up property, they would be paid ten percent above the market price. Other affectees would get three hundred thousand rupees plus five marla plot for the house. He said the new affectees would be accommodated in a new city near Mirpur and four towns along periphery of the dam. Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that WAPDA would get royalty at the rate of fifteen paisas per unit and fishing rights of the reservoirs have been given to Azad Kashmir. Sherpao said the completion of the dam would give a boost to agriculture as well as industry.