BATTGRAM -UNS : The Construction work on a patch of road, which is a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Battagram’s Gajborai area, resumed after successful negotiations between area residents and the district administration on Saturday.
Area residents had halted construction work on the CPEC project due to non-payment of compensation for their lands according to the market value.
The people had asked the government to pay them commercial value of the lands and houses that will be razed by the CPEC project.
An agreement was negotiated at a jirga presided over by Deputy Commissioner Sardar Asad Haroon.
CPEC action committee representative Anwar Baig Khan said that they had stopped the construction work so that the government can listen to the residents’ grievances.
Attaullah Khan Banian, a member of the CPEC action committee, said that district administration made a number of commitments to the residents in the past but did not honour them, which were the main reason behind the halt of construction work.
Haroon told the Jirga that all the legal demands of the people affected by the CPEC project have been accepted by the administration.
According to the deputy commissioner, it was decided that payment of compensation amount would start from August 15.
Discussing other details of the agreement he added: “From Kas Pul to Thakot area, on property declared as commercial, commercial rate will apply. In areas where mutation tax is collected on commercial basis, the matter of fruit trees will be taken up with the forest conservator and compensation amount will be paid according to the Abbottabad and Mansehra rates. Chair lifts which come within the CPEC route will be reassessed by XEN C&W before their value is declared. All link roads which intersect the CPEC route will be constructed as underpasses or flyovers.
Haroon added that he had told members of the CPEC committed to establish their office in Battagram for better liaison between them and the area’s residents.
“All the legal concern of the people affected by the project will be addressed but the people need to trust the departments involved,” he added.
On the occasion Colonel Abdullah, a member of the jirga, said “some mistakes were committed by the NHA officials, and they needed to be rectified.”
“All the issues should be solve through the law of the land,” he maintained.
He added that halting construction work on CPEC will cause a loss worth billions to the government exchequer.
At the end of the jirga a 10-member committee was formed. The committee will meet every week to monitor the progress of their CPEC related issues.