Dasu Hydropower Project’s land price doubles to Rs37bn

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ISLAMABAD: The price of acquisition of land for the for Dasu Hydropower Project (DHP) has almost doubled from Rs19 billion to Rs37 billion as the affectees have refused to accept the initially approved amount.

A Senate Panel on Thursday expressed concern over the slow pace of progress to acquire land for Rs510 billion Dasu Hydropower Project and sought an an explanation from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The Senate Standing Committee on Water Resources led by Senator Shamim Afridi was informed that only 7.5 percent, of total 9,875 acres of land required for the project, had so far been acquired.

The documents shared with the committee show that 7,888 acres of land were required for reservoir area excluding main and preparatory work, of which no land was acquired.

This implies that out of total required land of 9,875 acres only 740 acres of land was acquired.

The committee was informed by Water and Power Development Authority Member (Wapda) member that the total capacity of Dasu project was 4,320MW and it will be completed in two phases.

The project will have 12 units of 360MW each. In the first phase, 2,160MW electricity will be generated by 2023. The work on the first phase of the project was launched in June 2017 whereas the development under the second phase will begin in 2023.

The committee was briefed that project affectees did not accept the land rates approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in 2015 and had demanded an increase in land rate.

As per the revised plan, cost of acquisition of land increased from Rs19bn to Rs37bn. The increase in the cost of land (Rs18bn) will be borne by WAPDA from its equity and local commercial financing. The new prices had been approved by both ECNEC and Federal Cabinet, he informed. The jump in land prices jacked up the total cost of Dasu project from Rs486bn to Rs510bn.

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