LAHORE – The Wapda has decided to provide temporary housing facilities to all families whose lands have been acquired in Thore Valley for the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. The provision of temporary accommodation, in accordance with the weather requirements of the area, is in addition to the full payment for the land and establishment of permanent townships in five years.

The Wapda Authority during its recent meeting took this decision, which would benefit 131 families whose lands have been acquired for establishing of Wapda’s offices and residential structures. This decision would on the one hand provide adequate shelter to the affectees and would also be in line with the ‘Safeguard Policies’ of the donors.

The amount is to be paid to each family for construction of alternate accommodation comprising a bedroom along with toilet, and would be released in three instalments. The first instalment through cheque would be delivered within 10 days. The Wapda authority also decided to provide free medical coverage to affected families.

It is pertinent to mention that Diamer Basha Dam Project was formally initiated by the Prime Minister in October last year. For $12 billion project, the process to acquire land is in progress, while 12 contracts for construction of Wapda offices, colonies, contractors’ camps, roads infrastructure, etc. in the project area have already been awarded. Diamer Bhasha Dam is a multi-purpose project with the objectives to store water for irrigation, mitigate floods and generate low-cost hydel electricity. On completion, the project will store 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water besides generating 4,500 MW electricity. The project will add about 20 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid. The annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about $2.3 billion.