Lahore: In a major departure from existing practice in land acquisition and resettlement, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has decided to provide temporary housing facilities to all families whose lands have been acquired in Thore Valley for construction of the Diamer Bhasha Dam. The provision of temporary accommodation, in accordance with the weather requirements of the area, is in addition to the full payment for the land and establishment of permanent townships in five years.
The WAPDA Authority during its recent meeting took this decision, which would benefit 131 families whose lands have been acquired for establishing of WAPDA’s offices and residential structures. This momentous decision would on the one hand provide adequate shelter to the affectees and would also be in line with the ‘Safeguard Policies’ of the donors.
The amount is to be paid to each family for construction of alternate accommodation comprising a bedroom along with toilet, and would be released in three instalments. The first instalment through cheque would be delivered within 10 days. The WAPDA Authority also decided to provide free medical coverage through an ambulance and doctors to not only the affected families but also to the far flung villages of Diamer district. It was also decided that a poultry scheme for women would be launched besides establishing veterinary camps in the area. In order to facilitate the locals, pony tracks would also be developed in the valley.
It is pertinent to mention that Diamer Bhasha Dam Project was formally initiated by the Prime Minister in October last year. For US $ 12 billion project, the process to acquire land is in progress, while 12 contracts for construction of WAPDA offices, colonies, contractors camps, roads infrastructure, etc. in the project area have already been awarded. Diamer Bhasha Dam is a multi-purpose project with the objectives to store water for irrigation, mitigate floods and generate low-cost and environment-friendly hydel electricity. On completion, the project will store 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water besides generating 4500 MW electricity. The project will add about 20 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid. The annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about US $ 2.3 billion.
For more information, contact:
Muhammad Abid Rana
Director Public Relations
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
G-32, WAPDA House, Lahore
Tel: +9242 9920 2633 and +9242 9920 2211 -2033 -2029
Cell: +92333 445 8293