The World Bank (WB), in a letter to Pakistan’s officials has pressed the government to fast track the land acquisition issue for the Dasu Hydropower project. The WB further warned the government that the prices of the project would only increase due to this delay. Moreover, the letter said that the delay would not only add up in costs of the project but would also delay the production of clean and cheap power required by Pakistan. Following the meeting, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) put the issue on top of the list for it’s upcoming meeting on Oct 2.
The WB Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan said in the letter that, “Following our discussion on Aug 22, 2019, I appreciate your interventions in expediting the resolution of the land acquisition issues associated with the rates to be paid. Unfortunately, since then, the process was further delayed causing a near standstill of all construction activities.” He further added that, “The Continuing delays will result in additional cost to the government and prevent the addition of much-needed cleaner and cheaper energy for the betterment of the economy. I understand that the federal agencies and the government of KPK are near to finalizing the necessary legal instrument for the enhanced land compensation levels. We sincerely hope that this would be placed before the Ecnec as a priority and the problem will be resolved.
The project has been facing land acquisition issue for years. The owners of the land demand that the value of land should be revised. They say that the land rates were taken back in 2015 and have not been revised as per the rising inflation ever since.