In response to protests by people displaced by the Mangla Dam Raising Project, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed on Friday directed the departments concerned to complete the rehabilitation process without further delay.
In a meeting with representatives of various organisations fighting for the rights of the displaced people at the rest house of Public Works Department, Majeed directed the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and other related departments to complete construction of new homes for the displaced people in New Mirpur City and four small towns in Islamgarh, Siakh, Chakswari and Dadayal localities.
The prime minister maintained that the people of Mirpur district have given unprecedented sacrifices for the socio-economic uplift and prosperity of Pakistan. “Nobody can give reward for the fabulous sacrifices given twice by the people of Mirpur district; first for the construction of Mangla Dam and then for its raising,” said Majeed. He assured that their problems and grievances will be resolved as a priority.
Majeed said there will be no comprise on the “due and legitimate rights” of the people affected by the project, adding that it is Wapda’s duty to complete the rehabilitation process. The prime minister assured that all incentives promised to the affected people under agreement with Wapda and the AJK government will be provided to them.
Majeed said that to resolve the ongoing power crisis, the AJK government is focusing on executing now hydropower projects and on timely completing ongoing ones. He said that the recently launched 969MW Neelam-Jhelum Hydropower project in Muzaffarabad district will go a long way in overcoming the electricity shortage across the country.
Earlier, leaders of the delegation including Raja Khalil, Raja Zulifiqar and others apprised the prime minister of the slow-paced construction work in New Mirpur city and the four other towns in Mirpur district on part of Wapda and other organisations concerned. They called for early completion of the new residences for timely rehabilitation of the displaced people before the raising of the dam’s water level to its maximum limit of 1,242 feet.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.
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