Pak: Protestors block Karakoram Highway demanding compensation for Diamer Bhasha Dam as promised

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

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People affected by the Diamer Bhasha Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan on Wednesday protested against the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for its failure to pay compensation made to them for giving up their land for the construction of the dam, Dawn reported. Blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH). ,

The protesters were demanding pending payment that entitles them to financial assistance before they leave their homes acquired for the Dasu hydropower project.

Following which, the action committee of Diamer Bhasha Dam called for a strike and blocked KKH, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on both sides of the road at Gechi area of ​​Chilas in Diamer district of GB.

Diamer Deputy Commissioner (DC) Captain (retd) Muhammad Arif said the protesters blocked the road and demanded payment of their compensation pending with Wapda, Dawn reported.

He further said that he held talks with the protesters and told them that he would convey their point to the WAPDA President and other concerned officials, adding that the President's visit was also expected next week but the protesters did not agree.

DC Arif said the road was opened for half an hour and the stranded vehicles crossed the blockade, but was blocked again as the protesters demanded the WAPDA president to meet them at the protest site.

Atiullah and Muhammad Iqbal, who led the protest, said that until their demands are met, they will not leave the road and will continue their protest.

Iqbal said the affected people had been demanding Chula payment for a long time but the administration and Wapda officials “paid no attention” to their demands.

Furthermore, he said that the affected people surrendered their lands and in return, the government did not bother to provide chula payments to more than 800 affected people, which was promised to them in writing, according to Dawn.

As they continued the protest, tourists traveling to and from Gilgit Baltistan-Islamabad were stranded on both sides of the blocked road.

Muhammad Jameel, a traveler traveling to Hunza Gilgit, said his children and family were stranded on the road for six hours.

Jamil said they were able to leave after the roads were opened by the protesters, who were immediately asked to leave as the road had to be blocked again.

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