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Thread: Unmet demands: Jirga moves to block work on Dasu Dam

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jameel's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Pakistan Pakistan

    Unmet demands: Jirga moves to block work on Dasu Dam

    KOHISTAN: A tribal jirga from Kohistan has said they will not allow construction work on Dasu Hydropower Project (DHPP) until the demands of affected land owners are met.

    This is the second time the residents of Kohistan have stopped construction work on the project.

    Jirga members met the project director of DHPP and asked him to suspend construction on the western side of the project till the time all stakeholders reach a unanimous solution. If this is not done, land owners will forcibly bar them from carrying out work.

    A tribal jirga of elders from nine union councils was convened in Komila. The participants discussed the compensation offered to land owners by Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and other conditions on which they had agreed to give up their land.

    Mark of disrespect

    The jirga rejected the rate of Rs700,000 per kanal for the land being acquired for the dam. According to the revenue record, the per-kanal rate in Kohistan was Rs3.5 to Rs4 million. The rate fixed by the district administration is an affront to sacrifices made by the people of Kohistan who are helping the government tackle the energy crisis, they added.

    “We have sacrificed the land of our ancestors for our country and the government is not ready to even acknowledge our legal rights,” Maulana Wali Muhammad Khan, a jirga member told the media after the jirga.

    He requested Wapda to compensate land owners at market rates and provide a written acknowledgment of their demands. Unless these stipulations are met, land owners and jirga will not allow construction companies to resume work.

    Last resort

    Shamsur Rehman, another jirga member, said the jirga will give the government some time to accept their demands.

    If it does not accept their demands by the date specified, the tribal jirga will block the Karakoram Highway. The move would paralyse Gilgit-Baltistan and block trade with China, which is carried out via Kohistan.

    Another jirga member named Malik Sar Mukhtiar Khan recalled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had avoided speaking to land owners during his visit to Kohistan.

    “This shows a non-serious attitude towards completing hydropower projects and resolving the energy crisis,” he said. He added Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had promised to pay the land owners at market rates.

    The DHPP was inaugurated by the prime minister on June 25. Villagers protested against the management and urged Wapda to honour its commitment to compensate them.

  2. #2
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    UK UK

    Re: Unmet demands: Jirga moves to block work on Dasu Dam

    It's Pakistan, and money talks -- and renegotiating terms is honorable, as are brigands.

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