PESHAWAR, May 19: The NWFP government has acquired 112 kanals in the Ogi area of Mansehra district to distribute it among those people who have been rendered displaced due to the execution of Tarbela dam project, sources told Dawn.
The land has been acquired under sections 4 and 5 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. A total of 225 plots of different measurements would be carved out for distribution among the affected families.
Out of over 90,000 affected families, 1,300 families have yet to be provided alternate plot after being displaced due to the execution of Tarbela dam project 27 years ago.
Acquisition of land in Ogi for its distribution among those hit by construction of Tarbela Dam was possible after several years of wrangling between the NWFP government and the Water and Power Development Authority.
A proposal for providing alternate land at Ogi to some of the affected people - who have yet to get their claims materialized - had been submitted to the federal authorities concerned long ago but non-provision of funds on the part of Wapda caused delay.
“The land was taken over by the provincial government’s agencies concerned after Wapda deposited over Rs900,000 as price of the 112 kanals in line with the federal government’s instructions,” said senior government functionaries.
It has come only after the World Bank and other lending agencies financing the multi-billion-dollar Ghazi Barotha Hydro Power Project applied pressure on the federal government to resolve the long-pending issue of resettling all those who were rendered displaced by the Tarbela Dam project.
Islamabad started taking belated interest in the issue of resettling the remaining affected people in line with the World Bank’s conditionalities making it binding on the government, in its loan agreement for Ghazi Barotha power project, to provide alternate land to those who lost their lands to the Tarbela Dam project.
The repeated instructions by President Gen Pervez Musharraf to the governments of Sindh and Punjab viz-a-viz providing alternate land for cultivation-cum-residential purposes to the affected people in their areas also did not yield desired results.
Official sources said that it was not yet known that how many of the affected people would get land at Ogi. However, around 8,000 to 10,000 acres are required to be distributed among the affected people, settling this long-standing issue once and for all.
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