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MANSEHRA: Parliamentary secretary for textile industry in the National Assembly Sarzameen Khan on Thursday said the Hazara commissioner would announce new price of the land to be acquired for Dasu dam next Monday.

“On the directives of the chief minister, we met the Hazara commissioner, who said the new land price would be announced at the start of next week (next Monday),” he told reporters here.

The parliamentary secretary said lawmakers from Kohistan Abdul Sattar Khan and Abdul Haq and members of action committee of landowners along with him met Hazara commissioner Arbab Mohammad Arif, deputy commissioner Zafarul Islam and Dasu dam project director Faqir Mohammad Bagh and discussed the price of dam land and other demands.

“The land price fixing formula set by the chief minister in his meeting with us in Peshawar the other day will be strictly followed. The new price could be equal to the market price,” he said. Sarzameen Khan, who belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said other dam-related issues would be addressed by the federal government and Wapda at the earliest.

MNA says hopefully work on project to resume shortly

He said he was optimistic that work on the dam, which was suspended four months ago, would resume shortly. The parliamentary secretary said the 4230MW Dasu hydropower project was as important for Kohistan as it was for the rest of the country.

“I am pleased that issues related to the land price have been settled amicably. Now, the dam’s construction will begin soon,” he said. He said Wapda would establish technical vocational colleges, schools and other projects in line with the prime minister’s announcement made during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony in June last year.

The finance ministry had sanctioned Rs500 billion for the dam last year.

POULTRY SHOPS CLOSED: Local poultry traders on Thursday closed their shops after the price of live chicken dropped to Rs110 per kg from Rs140 per kg. The poultry price plunged in the district due to the massive chicken production in the country. People criticised poultry traders for closing shops.

“It is unfortunate that when the price of chicken surges in the wholesale market, its sellers take no time in increasing price but when the price drops, they close shops to create artificial shortage of chicken,” said Mohammad Jibran.

He flayed the administration for failing to crack down on poultry traders. Jibran said he visited many local markets but found poultry shops either closed or not selling chicken. He said the administration should spring into action to ensure that the people benefit from the decrease in chicken price.

OUTLAW HELD: The Oghi police on Thursday arrested a wanted criminal over murders, attempted murders and robberies in the district.

The arrest was made during the raid on the hideout of proclaimed offender Wazir Mohammad alias Wazira in Danna area of Pulrah. The police team led by Oghi SHO Aqibat Shah also seized a large cache of arms and ammunition.

The SHO told reporters that the arrested criminal was wanted in six murder, 10 attempted murder and many robbery cases. He said the outlaw also faced the charge of firing at the vehicle of SSP Shahnazar Khan.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2015

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