MANSEHRA: Construction work on the 4,300 megawatt Dasu hydropower project has resumed after the local clerics, a landowners’ committee and lawmakers accepted the modalities set by the district administration for its peaceful execution.

“Local ulema, an 80-member landowners’ committee and lawmakers have assured the district administration and Wapda of their full support for peaceful execution of the mega energy project,” Upper Kohistan deputy commissioner Arif Khan Yusufzai told reporters in Dasu on Sunday.

Earlier this month, Wapda security guards had opened fire at a group of locals attempting to enter an under-construction tunnel, causing injuries to five. The incident led to suspension of work on the project.

Mr Yusufzai said the agreement came about at a jirga attended among others by the committee members, local MNA Malik Afreen, ulema and Wapda officials. He said a committee formed following the firing incident would take up the issues faced by the locals and the labourers.

“It has also been decided in the larger public interest that no local will be allowed to enter the dam site to meet any official for redressal of his complaints,” said Mr Yusufzai.

Speaking on behalf of locals, MNA Malik Afreen appreciated the district administration and Wapda for resuming work on the project despite the ugly incident.

PLANTATION TARGET ACHIEVED: The district administration has achieved its target of planting over two million saplings with the support of the civil society, traders, tourists and schoolchildren.

Speaking at a programme in connection with the plantation drive in Pagla on Sunday, deputy commissioner Dr Qasim Ali Khan said the forest department would also plant over six million saplings during the ongoing drive.

He appreciated the overwhelming response shown by the civil society during the drive.

The deputy commissioner said the five components of his strategy to get involved the civil society, schoolchildren, nongovernmental organisations, tourists and other segments of society were bearing fruit.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2021

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