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LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has consulted Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) administration for the land acquisition of the 800MW Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project in Mohamand Agency.

The authority plans to complete land acquisition by the end of the year under a grand jirga system since the country’s land acquisition act is not enforced in Fata, Dawn has learnt.

Once completed, the project can store about 1.3 million acre feet (MAF) water to help control floods in Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar and irrigate about 17,000 acres. It will contribute more than three billion units of electricity to the national grid every year.

“We held the very first meeting with the senior officials at the Fata secretariat on Friday where we briefed them about the project,” a senior Wapda official told Dawn. It was decided in the meeting to assign the political agent of the area to contact the local residents and brief them about the project and after consulting tribesmen, land acquisition would begin.

There is no state land in Fata. The meeting discussed compensation for private, communal and disputed land. The rate of the last land transaction will be made baseline price per acre. Similarly the same rate may also be offered to the claimants of disputed land subject to resolution of the issues by jirgas, the official explained. The land acquisition will be done through jirgas.

Wapda plans initiation of the civil work on the 56km reservoir by June next, it wants to acquire the land by the end of this year.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018