ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Ch Moonis Elahi on Wednesday approved Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s pay plan for affectees of 4320 MW Dasu Hydropower Project under Enhanced Self-Managed Relocation (ESMR) package subject to handing over possession of land to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

He accorded approval while presiding over 18th meeting of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) of Dasu Hydropower Project.

The meeting discussed three issues including the approval of the proposal of KP government on the modus operandi for payment to the affectees under ESMR package, progress review of settlement of right-of-way issue for construction of 132 kV transmission line from Pattan to Dasu, and progress review of local area development programme.

The DC Upper Kohistan presented the proposal containing modus operandi for making payments to the affectees under the ESMR package where he apprised the meeting that the KP government desires the Dasu Project Steering Committee to approve the payment mechanism after preparation of eligible cases and their scrutiny through five-tier committees duly represented by the relevant officials of District Administration, Wapda and Wapda’s consultants.

He also presented the Terms of Reference (ToRs) to the meeting and sought their approval. After deliberations, the Minister for Water Resources approved the proposal of the KP government containing the modus operandi of making payments to the affectees under the ESMR package.

He also directed that the District Administration, Upper Kohistan shall complete the critical cases in terms of making payments to 1000 affectees latest by June 30, 2022. He also directed that upon payment land will be handed over to Wapda forthwith. The Deputy Commissioner gave his commitment which was endorsed by the Commissioner Hazara Division.

On the issue of Right of Way (RoW) of transmission line in Pattan area, the minister, directed Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) to submit its report comprising detailed plan of activities, tentative timelines and the estimated cost to WAPDA within two weeks to ascertain the need of electricity for the locals of Pattan area in Lower Kohistan so that the necessary measures can be taken as confidence building measures which would pave the way for smooth construction of 132 kV transmission line from Pattan to Dasu to supply electricity for construction of Dasu Hydropower Project.

Additional Secretary, Energy Department, KP gave commitment to have the report from PEDO submitted to WAPDA as per the directions of the Chair within two-week’s time. Chairman Wapda also assured the Government of KP to bear the cost of provision of electricity to the locals from the project’s finances being provided by Wapda from its own sources.

Ch Moonis Elahi also directed the Commissioner Hazara Division to hold jirga with the locals of the Pattan and Kohistan Lower before the start of Ramazan so that the construction on 132 kV transmission line can start without any further delay.

With regard to local area development programme, Chairman Wapda gave a detailed presentation to the committee and apprised that Wapda is carrying out a number of schemes for the benefit of the local community in the project area which include construction of Jalkot bridge, free medical camps, provision of school bus for local children, solar schemes, construction of mosques, health units etc. The Chair directed chairman Wapda to consider the possibility of assisting the District Administration in transportation of edible items from Mansehra and other developed regions to Kohistan which would reduce the prices of edible items particularly in Ramazan.

The meeting was attended by the Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Chairman WAPDA, Additional Secretary, Power Division, Senior Joint Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Member (Water) Wapda, Chief Energy, Planning Commission, Member Board of Revenue, Government of KP, Commissioner Hazara Division, DC Kohistan Upper, Additional Secretary, Energy Department, KP, and other officers of the federal and the KP government as well as representatives of the World Bank.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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