Landowners from eight union councils of Abbottabad have agreed to give their lands for the construction of the Patrind Hydropower Project (PHP) to be built at the boundary of Abbottabad and Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
A formal agreement was signed between the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the project authorities at the Commissioner House. On behalf of the provincial government, Hazara Division Commissioner Khalid Khan Umerzai signed the agreement while the project Chief Executive Officer General (retd) Farrukh Javed represented the Korean Company Star Hydro, which will undertake the construction work of the PHP.
Under the agreement, Star Hydro will pay compensation of the land at the rate of Rs0.5 million per kanal to the owners and as much amount will be paid to them in addition as allowance to compensate for the disturbance during construction.
Commissioner Umerzai said that the construction company will complete the project in a period of three-and-a-half years at an estimated cost of $400 million. The project would generate 147 megawatts of electricity which would not only help improve the electricity voltage in Abbottabad and Mansehra districts but also boost economic activities in the region.
Umerzai said that a total of 212 kanals of land was required for the construction of the PHP from the jurisdiction of Abbottabad, which has been acquired with the consent of landowners who were paid full compensation at the rate equal to the landowners of AJK. He also lauded the role of elected representatives of Abbottabad who facilitated the land acquisition without any hurdle. Regarding the agreement, the commissioner said that the company will engage all unskilled and skilled manpower from the affected union councils for construction work.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2011.