A judge on Monday issued arrest warrant for a Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) official for contempt of court.
The judge directed Mirpur Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Tahir Mehmood Qureshi to produce Wapda chief engineer Mangla Dam in court before June 18.
He was responding to petitions filed by locals of Kalayal Shehroo, Mirpur tehsil, demanding payment of compensation money for their land acquired under the Mangla Dam Raising Project (MDRP).
The judge also issued notice to Collector Land Acquisition Mangla Dam Affairs for non-compliance of the apex court’s orders to pay compensation to the land owners on time.
For the project, land belonging to Rehman Jan and others locals of Kalayal Shehroo was acquired by Collector Land Acquisition Mangla Dam Affairs. As directed by the AJK Supreme Court on February 2, 2011, compensation amounting to Rs7,619,376 was to be paid to the land owners.
There is resentment among the locals as they have been displaced under the Rs100 billion project and have not been paid their due compensation. The affected people have complained to the Prime Minister of AJK, federal minister for Kashmir affairs and other concerned authorities to pay them the compensation money so they can build their homes. They allege that the payment is being deliberately delayed despite “empty promises” by the concerned authorities, especially Wapda.
Meanwhile, Wapda authorities have given notice to the affected families to evacuate the area, as the dam’s water level will be raised to its highest level of 1,240 feet in August.
Addressing a press conference at Kashmir Press Club Mirpur on Monday, Acting President of MDRP Action Committee of Affected, Chaudhry Allah Ditta, lashed out at Wapda for “blatantly disobeying the AJK Supreme Court orders”.
He said that the apex court had ordered to pay Rs1 million per kanal to land owners affected under the project. He added that over a hundred locals are waiting to be paid their compensation.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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