Demonstrators affected by the Mangla Dam raising project, assembled in front of Kashmir Press Club on Saturday to demand the immediate allotment of plots promised by the government for building alternative homes.
The affected families have threatened to camp in front of the office of commissioner Mangla Dam Raising Project on Monday in Mirpur till their demands are accepted.
Led by the Mangla Dam Affectees Action Committee, the protesters accused Mangla Dam Resettlement Organisation and Wapda of delaying the provision of residential plots reserved for families displaced by the Mangla Dam raising project.
While the raising project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Gilani, thousands of affected families are still without shelter since their homes were submerged. Nazarat Chaudhry, told reporters at the press club that the residential plots have only been allotted on maps. The plots have not even been demarcated at the sites reserved for displaced families.
He said there are ravines in the area where the plots have been allotted. “There is not even a road leading to the site, nor are there amenities like water or electricity,” he added.
“The government should first ensure the availability of infrastructure including civil amenities at the site before proceeding with the allotment process.”
Demonstrators were highly critical of the government for not making a sincere attempt to resolve the issues being faced by displaced families. Despite repeated attempts, officers from the Mangla Dam Raising Project and Wapda could not be contacted in either Mirpur or Mangla for their version because of the weekend.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.
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