Acquisition of land for Dasu project proves to be complicated


The acquisition of hundreds of acres in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Dasu hydropower project’s main civil works has become complicated after the people, who had received compensation for surrendering their land to the government for the Diamer-Bhasha dam, started investing in the Dasu area in an attempt to claim hefty amounts in compensation, local media reports have informed.

This prompted the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), which had started civil works at the available land in Dasu Town last year, to ask the federal government to acquire the land on an urgent basis otherwise the project’s cost and completion time would continue to escalate.

An official source revealed that the Sigloo, Kass and Sheikhabad are the areas where there is an urgent need for over 500 acres for launching main civil works of the Dasu project. However, every time the residents/owners are contacted for acquiring the land, they create a do-or-die-like situation.

He added that the situation is being aggravated by those who received compensation against their land for Bhasha dam as they have started investment in these areas [Sigloo, Kass and Sheikhabad] by constructing buildings and other infrastructure in a bid to get handsome payment from the government in lieu of Dasu dam project.

According to a senior Wapda official, Prime Minister Imran Khan had been requested to personally look into the issue and ensure acquisition of land for the project at the earliest. The locals demand that the government change the category of their land and rates of compensation.

He said the PM had assured Wapda officials weeks ago that the government would soon resolve the issue.

According to a source, Wapda actually needs a total of 9,875 acres for the entire project. Of this, it requires around 2,000 acres for civil works and a colony, while the remaining 7,888 acres are needed for the reservoir and other purposes.