BATTAGRAM: Construction work on a CPEC road resumed here on Wednesday after successful dialogue with the affected people by the district administration and National Highway Authority officials.

The affected people had halted work on a stretch of a road being constructed under the CPEC from Matta Sofian to Chanjal area due to non-payment of compensation for their lands according to the market value.

The people had asked the government to pay them commercial value of their lands and houses being consumed by the CPEC project.

The thaw came at a jirga presided over by deputy commissioner Sardar Asad Haroon and attended among others by district nazim Attaur Rehman Khan, land acquisition collector CPEC Tanveer, assistant commissioner Mian Javed Iqbal and representatives of the affected people.

Anwar Baig and Gul Mohammad, representing the affected people, urged the government to fulfill their demands otherwise no more construction work would be allowed in their respective areas.

Landowners assured compensation according to market value

Mr Baig said the NHA authorities had told the locals that 15 per cent of their compensation amount would be cut which was not acceptable to them.

He said the government should provide them alternative means of living as their houses were going to be demolished soon. He said that as their lands were located along the KKH they were treated as commercial land.

Gul Mohammad said from Kas Pul to Chanjal area the land was treated as commercial, and urged the government to pay compensation accordingly as was done in the case of Mansehra, Abbottabad and Haripur.

He also asked the officials to shift the graves coming under the CPEC route.

The district administration officials assured the affected people that they would soon get compensation amounts according to the law.

Deputy Commissioner Asad Haroon assured the affected people that their rights would be safeguarded by the district administration, but asked them not to disrupt the construction work on the CPEC as it portrayed a wrong picture in the world.

The DC on the occasion constituted an action committee of affected people tasked with contacting the relevant authorities on the matter.

Mr Haroon also asked the CPEC officials to resolve the compensation matter of the affected people.

He directed the NHA officials to establish an office in the district headquarters Battagram in order to resolve CPEC related issues.

Later, after the successful dialogue, the affected people assured the district administration that they would not stop the construction work on the project.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2017

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