September 2003 News

Consultation with N. Areas on Bhasha dam urged

18 September 2003
The Dawn
Our Correspondent

GILGIT: A member of the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) Jaffar Shah has said that the people of the Northern Areas should be consulted before construction work on the proposed Bhasha dam begins. Talking to Dawn Mr Shah, who is also president of PPP Northern Areas and leader of the opposition in the NALC here on Tuesday said, the people of the Northern Areas must be taken into confidence before the Bhasha dam was constructed as the area where the dam would be made fell under the Northern Areas' jurisdiction. He said the name of the proposed dam should also be changed to Diamer dam or Karakuram dam. Mr Shah said Article 161 (2) of the Constitution must be replaced to give the dam's royalty to the people of the Northern Areas. He said last year the NALC had passed a resolution regarding the issue and apprised the federal government about it and added that the council was still waiting for the federal government's decision on the issue. Mr Shah further said proper rehabilitation measures should be taken well in advance to resettle the people of the Diamer district who would be displaced because of the project and compensatory amount may also be given to them according to the market value of their lands. Mr Shah demanded that a fair and impartial survey must be carried out to define the boundaries between the NWFP and the Northern Areas to amicably settle the royalty issue.


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