ISLAMABAD – Wapda in consultation with stakeholders is finalising a comprehensive policy for resettlement and rehabilitation of the affectees for its future projects with the prime focus on Diamer Bhasha Dam project.
Wapda Chairman, Shakil Durrani, stated this while addressing the inaugural secession of a two-day Stakeholders’ Seminar on resettlement and rehabilitation of the affectees of Diamer Bhasha Dam project, here at WAPDA Staff College, on Thursday.
Among a large number of notables from Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), US Ambassador for Special Projects Robin Raphel, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Rone Stroem, GB Health Minister Haji Gulbahar Khan, Leader of the Opposition in GB Legislative Assembly, Bashir Ahmed, ex-member GB Legislative Assembly, Syeda Fouzia Saleem Abbass, WAPDA Member (Water) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah and WAPDA Secretary Imtiaz Tajwar also attended the seminar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman said that rehabilitation and resettlement component was as important in execution of a project as the engineering component was, therefore, WAPDA was taking all the stakeholders into confidence to chalk out an action plan for the purpose. He further said that all possible measures were being taken to have a positive impact on the life of the people who would be affected due to construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. Ambassador Robin Raphel and ADB Country Director Rone Stroem, addressing the seminar, said that they were very encouraged to note Wapda’s interest in considering the safeguards to implement the project. They also committed all possible support for the project.
Vaqar Zakariya of Hagler Baillay Pakistan said that Diamer Basha Dam could be used as a vehicle for regional transformation. GB Health Minister Haji Gulbar Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the GB Legislative Assembly Bashir Ahmed, ex-member GB Legislative Assembly Syeda Fouzia Saleem Abbas, while making suggestions for the action plan, assured WAPDA of their full support in execution of Diamer Bhasha Dam project.
WAPDA General Manger (Land Acquisition & Resettlement) Dr Raheel Ahmed, dilating upon the salient features of the resettlement action plan, said that the process of land acquisition had been started, which was planned to be completed by 2012.
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