Land acquisition talks fail: Tribesmen warn of resisting Kurram Tangi Dam Phase II construction

Published: January 3, 2019
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Tribal areas. PHOTO: REUTERS

Tribal areas. PHOTO: REUTERS

MIRANMSHAH: Kabalkhel tribe of North Waziristan has announced to resist the construction of Kurram Tangi Dam Phase II following failure of talks between the government representatives and the tribal elders.

The meeting of tribesmen on Wednesday said that they do not trust the official assurances and will launch protests against the construction of dam which will inundate their land.

The Jirga observed that the government authorities have offered no alternative land to over 0.3 million people who will be affected by the dam, besides they have also not announced any compensation packages.

Earlier on Monday, a grand Jirga on Kurram Tangi Dam Phase II concluded without any breakthrough.

The Jirga between Kabalhel elders and district administration was held in the Shawa Tehsil of North Waziristan tribal district in which scores of notable, district administration and also from the dam administration took part.

The notables after the failures of talks told the media that neither the district administration nor the Wapda team took the locals into confidence about the social, economic and environmental impact of the dam.

The elders of Kabalkhel tribe alleged that the government was violating the law and appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to take notice of the matter. They said they will also stage sit-ins in Peshawar and Islamabad in protest against construction of Phase-2 of Kurram-Tangi Dam.

Mir Ali Assistant Commis­sioner Yousaf Karim Kundi while addressing the Jirga on Monday had said work on Phase-2 of the dam hasn’t been launched yet. He assured that the tribesmen will be taken into confidence before initiation of work on the project.

“We will take the elders of the Kabalkhel into confidence before starting any construction work,” Kundi said.

He said the government will compensate the tribesmen and allot them alternative lands as well.

However, the Kabalkhel elders doubt the government officials will keep their promises.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2019.

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