LAHORE: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) on Friday inked an agreement with Heidelberg Academy’s Institute for Rock Carvings and Inscriptions along the Karakoram Highway to formulate a cultural heritage management plan for Diamer Bhasha Dam Project.
Chairman WAPDA said Diamer Bhasha Dam Multi-purpose Project was vital for economy of our country. In addition to taking all possible measures for initiating construction work on the main project in the shortest possible time, WAPDA is equally focused to implement Resettlement Action Plan including conservation of the cultural heritage of the project area in line with international safeguard policies, he said.
Underlining the significance of the project region in terms of its unique cradling of the pre-historic rock carvings and diverse cultures which exists there, he said WAPDA in collaboration with the firm of international repute such as Heidelberg Academy’s Institute for Rock Carvings and Inscriptions along the Karakoram Highway has decided to devise a deeply thought out action plan to conserve this unique heritage and enable the local populace to gain economic benefits from its conservation. The formulation of cultural heritage management plan in a period of six months will provide an appropriate line of action for conservation of the area to be affected by Diamer Basha Dam Project, he added.
Federal government through WAPDA is implementing Diamer Bhasha Dam as a priority project. For the multi billion dollar project, acquisition of land, development of infrastructure in the project area and implementation of social action plan including construction of a model village for the displaced populace and other steps leading towards their socio-economic development are continuing side by side. Special emphasis is being laid on resettlement action plan, prepared in accordance with international safeguard policies and guidelines. A sum of Rs 68 billion has been earmarked for providing social services to the affectees, Rs 42 billion for acquisition of land and Rs 8 billion for compensation of other assets etc.