National Assembly Speaker directs Ministry of Water Resources to compensate people affected by Ghazi Barotha Power Project

Islamabad, September 07, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said that the country is facing acute scarcity of water due to the lack of dams. He said that before the construction of any of dam, it is imperative to resolve the hardships of the local inhabitant of the area where a dam is planned to construct. He expressed these views while chairing a meeting regarding compensation to the affectees of Ghazi Barotha Power Project. The meeting was attended by Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Member National Assembly Umer Ayub Khan, Senator Saif Ali Khan, Members of Provincial Assemblies, representatives of local Governments of Haripur, Attock and Swabi as well as Secretary Water Resource, Chairman WAPDA and high-ups of IRSA.

The Speaker has said that the underground water level had declined and irrigation system was affected badly due to construction of Ghazi Barotha Project. He said that besides agriculture, environment and employment were also ruined. He said that affectees of Ghazi Barotha Project were not compensated so far. The speaker said that survey of the area should be conducted again and payment of compensation to affectees assured accordingly.

The Speaker directed the Water Resource and WAPDA to take steps to enhance the water follow, to devise mechanism for rehabilitation of area, construct the park alongside the lake to promote the tourism and conduct new survey and make arrangement for potable water for inhabitants of affected area. He also directed for the immediate payment of compensation to affectees. The Speaker directed to constitute a committee to resolve the issues of the people of the area. The committee will comprise Local People’s Representatives, High-ups of Ministry of Water and Power, WAPDA and IRSA.

The Committee will formulate its TORs and give suggestion to address the problems of people of the area. On this occasion, Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said that trees will be planted both sides of the project to improve the environment of the area. Mr. Umer Ayub Khan MNA said that 41 kilometres areas consist of 180 big and small villages have affected due to construction of this project.

He further said that due to this project irrigation system and fisheries also destroyed. The Secretary Water Resources has said that problems of the people of the areas should be resolved before commencement of any project. He said that the survey conducted in past for compensation to the affectees of Ghazi Brotha Power Project is not applicable therefore; the new survey will be conducted for payment of compensation to the affectees. Chairman WAPDA has said that in future the foreign consultant will not be hired for any project of WAPDA. He said that local consultants are much talented and have awareness with ground realities and the problem faced by the local community.

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