NAs admin weary of resettlement plan
3 June 2006
Islamabad: Northern Areas administration, expressing dissatisfaction over WAPDA’s plan for resettlement of DiamirBhasha Dam affecttees, has asked the federal government to constitute a review committee by incorporating its elected representatives particularly those from Diameer.. “Besides, the NA administration demanded of the Centre to make inductions on the posts of advisors and consultants from these areas while carrying out the work on reservoir as well as infrastructure development,” the sources privy to a meeting held in Islamabad told The Nation Saturday. The NAs administration further urged the government to ensure approval of the resettlement and other projects from the Northern Areas Council before the formal work is started. “The approval on part of the NAs council is necessary before start of the work,” the sources further said. According to these sources, villages of Goharabad, Thure, Bunner and Huntar are amongst the areas that will be affected badly and need resettlement before dam’s construction. “The people from these areas particularly those members of the council must be incorporated in the committee to revise and finalise the settlement plan.” The Northern Areas also proposed that the project director of WAPDA should also be member of the proposed review committee to revise the resettlement plan so that the flaws can be removed in consultation with each other and in presence of the representatives of the federal government. The federal government is going to place Rs 10 billion in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2006-07 to acquire lands for major dams including Bhasha reservoir affecttees. Besides Rs 500 million are also allocated for the Bhasha dam exclusively for the next year. Meanwhile, Rs 28 billion will be distributed as compensation among the people of Diamir district affected by the construction of Bhasha dam and in addition, it is expected that an amount of Rs 90 billion trade profit will also available to the local businessmen due to the economic activities. Deputy Chief Executive of Northern Areas and other officials held a detailed meeting with Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas here conveying the demands of the NAs administration over Diamir-Bhasha dam construction.