MIRPUR (AJK) - The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has decided to provide temporary housing facilities to the families whose land has been acquired in Thore Valley for the construction of the Diamer Basha Dam.

According to the official statement issued here on Tuesday, temporary accommodation included full payment for the land and development of townships in next five years. It further stated that the decision would benefit 131 families whose land had been acquired for construction of Wapda offices in the area. As per detail, compensation would be released in three instalments, whereas the first instalment would be paid through cheque within 10 days. During a meeting, the Wapda decided to provide free medical treatment to the affected families. It was also decided to launch a poultry scheme to benefit women along with veterinary camps.

It is pertinent to mention that $12 billion Diamer Basha Dam project was formally initiated by the Prime Minister in October last year.

The process of land acquisition is underway whereas 12 contracts for the construction of offices, colonies, camps and roads have been awarded.

Diamer Basha Dam is a multi-purpose project which aims to store water for irrigation, mitigate floods and generate low-cost and environment-friendly hydel electricity. According to Wapda statement, the project would help store 8.1 million acre feet (MAF) of water and would generate 4,500 MW electricity. The project would also add 20 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid and the annual benefits would amount to $2.3 billion, the statement added.