GB govt seeks Rs13bn for 4,000 affectees of Diamer-Bhasha Dam

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ISLAMABAD: The Implementation Committee on Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams (ICDBMD) has approved a package of Rs 13 billion for the resettlement of over 4, 000 displaced families. After reviewing progress on the hydropower project, the implementation committee set up by the Supreme Court approved the package proposed by the government of Gilgit-Baltistan for setting up a model village.

In addition, every affected family of the area would be given Rs 4.7 million in case they decided against the plots in the model village. As per the sources, the Rs 13 billion package is an addition to Rs 58 billion, the amount used to acquire land for the dam.

Since the proposal was made by the regional government after due deliberations and meetings with the representatives of the affectees, almost all outstanding issues related to the dam on the part of government have been resolved. However, land and territorial disputes among the dam affectees are still in local courts.

The federal government has also been proposed that the Rs 13 billion may immediately be provided to the regional government for the early settlement of the dam-related issues. “In case, the Centre finds it difficult to pay the amount before the next budget, the required amount may be provided from the [CJP-PM] dam fund,” the GB government proposed.

With the approval of this package by the implementation committee, the earlier PC-I of the model village and resettlement plan will be revised, it was told.

Earlier, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) proposed to build at least nine model villages to rehabilitate the people affected by the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

During the meeting of the implementation committee, the GB chief secretary claimed the locals have reposed full confidence in the Resettlement Action Plan, which has paved the way for completion of land acquisition for Diamer Basha Dam Project.

The meeting held in Islamabad was presided over by WAPDA Chairman Muzammil Hussain and was attended by ICDBMD members and other officials.

During the meeting, the WAPDA chairman had reiterated that the Committee would continue to serve with same zeal against all odds. It may be noted here that the Diamer-Bhasha Dam is located 40 km downstream of Chilas, the district headquarters of Diamer.

Upon completion, it will displace 30,350 people living in 4,266 households of 32 villages, situated above the dam site on both left and right banks of Indus River. Total land required for the project is 37,419 acres which included 19,062 acres of state and 18,357 acres of private land under cultivation, barren and other uses.

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