June 2006 News

Rs28 billion to be disbursed among affected people: Diamer-Bhasha Dam

18 June 2006
The Dawn

Chakwal: Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (Kana) Tahir Iqbal has said Rs28 billion will be disbursed among those who would be affected by the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. He was talking to the deputy speaker of Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC), Syed Asad Zaidi, and councillor Akbar Ali Khan who met him at his residence in Chakwal on Sunday. The minister said nine residential colonies would also be built to accommodate the affected persons. He said initial work on the dam had initiated and it would be completed in two years. After that, the construction of Diamer- Bhasha Dam would start in 2008 and the dam would be completed at the cost of $6.5 billion in six years. The NALC deputy speaker apprised the minister of the recommendations sent by the legislative council to the federal government for acknowledgement of the constitutional and legal rights of Northern Areas. The minister told the NALC deputy speaker that the federal government was examining the issue and the things would be settled soon. He said funds for Cadet College Chalas had been released, adding that the government had enhanced the budget of Northern Areas from Rs3.5 billion to Rs4 billion annually. Mr Iqbal said appointment of six advisers in Northern Areas would be made purely on merit and final decision would be taken soon. POPULATION WELFARE MINISTER Federal Minister for Population Welfare Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain on Sunday said PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif could not take part in politics till 2010 as he went abroad after signing a deal with the government. However, PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto could return, but she would have to face the courts hearing cases initiated against her by Nawaz Sharif. The federal minister was talking to reporters after attending a reception given in his honour at a local hotel. He was confident that the federal budget would be approved by June 22 and then the government would start a serious campaign to reduce the prices of essential commodities. Replying to a question, he said the PML and its allied parties would sweep the general elections 2007, as the people of Pakistan had rejected the politics of confrontation and the protest calls given by Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Imran Khan. Mr Hussain said the local government system had brought a revolution in the country by ending the hold of bureaucracy on life of the masses. Earlier, the minister announced the establishment of a family welfare centre at Chawlee village.


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