The management of Patrind Hydro-power Project (PHP) has assured the affected villagers of Abbottabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) that they will be compensated for their land at market rates.
This was announced at a briefing arranged by PHP management on Thursday. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz MNA Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, MPA Shamon Khan Abbasi, Hazara Commissioner Khalid Khan Umerzai, Abbottabad District Coordination Officer Zaheerul Islam, PHP Land Acquisition Col Ali Shan, District Revenue Officer Fazal Muhammad and representatives of affected village from Boi Union Council were present on the occasion.
PHP Chief Executive General (retd) Farrukh Javed informed the participants that a total of 107,272 square metres will be acquired for the project, and the affected villagers will be compensated in accordance to the market rates. The project would be built along the Kunhar River on the bordering land of Abbottabad and AJK, he explained.
He said that the total cost of the project would be around $300 million, and a Korean company would be assigned the project. The project will be completed in the next five years and would generate 147 MW for Hazara division, he added. Javed said that a bridge will be constructed over the PHP’s spillways to allow easy travel to the people of AJK and Abbottabad.
He added that the successful completion of PHP would facilitate new power projects in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which would have the potential to generate 27,000 MW.
“The Soni Kinari Hydropower Project, having a capacity to generate 840 MW would be launched right after the completion of PHP,” said Javed.
Mehtab said that the people were unaware about the social and economic benefits of the project and were therefore opposed to it, adding that any project which entailed prosperity and development would be fully supported.
He requested the management to address the peoples’ concerns before the launch of the project, and assured the affected communities that their interests would be protected at all costs.
The villagers of Boi Union Council had boycotted the briefing by Hazara Commissioner last week. They had demanded the management to provide compensation for the acquired land at market rates or else they would not allow the project to be materialised.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2011.