MANSEHRA, Nov 21: The government plans to build a dam on the Kunhar river in the Kaghan valley to overcome the deepening power crisis in the country.

Official sources said environment director general Dr Mohammad Bashir had visited the proposed site of the dam at Indhar Bala, 10 kilometres north of Kaghan, to prepare a feasibility report. The dam is expected to generate 840MW electricity and cost $1.13 billion to complete.

Sources said construction of the dam would displace a large number of people living in areas along Kunhar.

They said Dr Bashir along with Balakot Tehsil Nazim Syed Junaid Qasim and other officials had met residents of the area and apprised them about the government’s plan. The sources quoted Dr Bashir as having told the residents that hundreds of people would be employed during construction of the project and over 1,200 people would get employment on its completion.

Dr Bashir said the reservoir, which would cover about three kilometre area, would also be used for production of trout fish.

He said people who would be affected or displaced because of the project would be compensated and shifted to other appropriate places, adding the project would be completed in six years.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Qasim said if the government was sincere in completing the project on time it should first take the local people into confidence and compensate those who would be affected by the project.

He said the local government would extend cooperation in execution of the project.

TRAINING: The Vulnerability Reduction and Preparedness Programme, launched by the United Nations Development Fund, on Friday initiated a three-day workshop to train masons, steel fixers and skill workers in constructing earthquake resistance buildings in the 2005 quake-affected districts of the NWFP.

Speaking at the inaugural session, tehsil municipal officer Mohammad Rehman and programme’s project manager Shahiz Aziz said training workshops and learning were an integral part of development and prosperity of a country.

“Such like training workshops will enable construction workers to play an active role in safer reconstruction in earthquake-shattered areas,” they observed.

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