Report Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: While the 108 megawatt Golen Gol power project is ready for inauguration, the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) contractor laying the transmission lines down the site has destroyed agricultural land and green trees at Berbulak area of Broze.
The owners of these forest and agricultural land alleged that the contractor was even not ready to pay proper compensation to them.
Amirul Mulk of the area said the residents were neither consulted nor taken into confidence during the survey for the laying of the main lines. Khisaurul Mulk and Fayazul Mulk said barren land and hilly areas could have been used for laying the lines but the contractor deliberately selected the agricultural land and fixed heavy towers in the private land only to save money and pocket it.
Akbarul Mulk and Dawodul Mulk added that on the one hand the provincial government claimed that it planted one billion trees but on the other WAPDA had chopped more than 5,000 trees, some over 100 years old.
Tanveerul Mulk, Ejazul Mulk and Fazli Khaliq said the affected people were given a small amount only for that piece of land where the electricity poles had been installed but no compensation for the felled trees.
Fida Muhammad said he protested against the contractor for damaging his agricultural and forest but the contractor got angry and deliberately fixed three more pylons in his land close to each other.
When contacted, Inspector General of Forest Syed Mahmood Nasir said a forest officer would be deputed to probe the cutting of trees.
Director Golen Gol Power Project Engineer Javed Afridi, on behalf of WAPDA, said an assessment is carried out before cutting of trees and the owners are paid compensation under the set rules through the deputy commissioner.
Former subdivisional forest officer (wildlife) Inayatul Mulk said the affected forest was habitat of rare birds but now the birds had migrated from the area.