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ISLAMABAD: The Project Steering Committee (PSC) of Dasu Hydropower Project headed by Minister for Water Resources, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has directed Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to shift Army troops from DHQ Dasu within two months, sources close to Secretary Water Resources told Business Recorder.

The Project Director Dasu hydropower project stated that in accordance with the decision of the 18th Project Steering Committee meeting, Battalion Headquarters (HQ) +1 Company of Pak Army was accommodated in DHQ hospital till May 30, 2022.

However, troops are still residing in one portion of DHQ hospital, as alternative arrangements could not be finalized due to non-availability of suitable site. He stated that because of recent flash floods, the accommodation of remaining Pak Army troops in Uchar area has also been damaged partially.

Minister reviews progress on K-IV project

Deputy Commissioner Kohistan Upper requested that alternative arrangements may be finalized at the earliest to shift Pak Army troops to make the DHQ hospital fully functional. Chairman Wapda assured that alternate arrangements will be finalized within two months.

PD Dasu HPP stated that in pursuance of the decisions taken in 18th PSC meeting, Wapda deposited Rs 4.8 million to Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) on March 31, 2022 for studying alternate arrangement for provision of electricity to the locals, in line with the agreement reached in 2013, between Government of Pakistan and the locals of the Pattan Area. He further noted that PEDO submitted its draft report in August 2022 and final report in September 2022, in consultation with the concerned departments.

However, PEDO’s report is primarily comprises of the following two options: (i) construction of Mini-Micro Hydel Power Projects (MMHPPs) costing Rs. 6.090 billion with 04-05 years’ construction period; and (ii) provision of solar system costing Rs 8.464 million.

Chairman Wapda proposed that the PSC may consider provision of solar system to the locals, as construction of MMHPPs would entail considerable time. Alliteratively, he added, the government may pay monetized value of the solar system to the locals which would save time for early completion of the l32kV transmission line from Duber to Dasu.

Commissioner Hazara Division stated that during previous Jirgas with the locals, both options of solar system and MMHPPs were discussed at length and most of the people gave consent on provision of MMHPPs. However, the new proposal of offering monetized value of solar system never came under discussion and its acceptability can be ascertained after holding a Jirga with the locals.

He continued that another option of provision of development schemes can also be deliberated with the people. He stressed that his office may be given a clear mandate on the options to be offered to the people, enabling him to develop consensus amongst the people of the area.

The PSC decided that Commissioner Hazara shall negotiate and finalize the agreement with the locals to reach an agreement ‘within four weeks’ on any of the four options, i.e., solar system, monetized value of the solar system, MMHPPs and development schemes. The final agreement shall replace the MoU signed in 2013.The people of the area shall allow immediate continuation of remaining works on the 132-kV Transmission Line, latest by start of January 2023, while Wapda would provide funds to the concerned entity required for execution of the alternative included in the final agreement.

The PSC also submitted a joint proposal about disbursement of Enhanced Self-Managed Relocation (ESMR) package for relocation of affectees from awarded land, prepared by district administration Kohistan Upper and Project Office Wapda, with the following amended eligibility criteria: (i) individuals having CNIC with permanent address within district Kohistan Upper but present address outside of district Kohistan Upper shall also be granted ESMR package besides those having both the permanent and the temporary addresses within District Kohistan Upper; and (ii) ESMR package will be granted to more than one households (HHs) in the same Khasra. All married couples living in same house shall be eligible for ESMR package, provided that they hold title of the said property as per revenue record.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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