Islamabad: A parliamentary panel has directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to resolve the issue of payment to landowners in the case of Kaghan to Babusar Top road construction, a news source reported.
The subcommittee of Senate Standing Committee on Communications met with Bahramand Khan Tangi. The aim was to discuss the point of payment to the landowners whose land was acquired for the construction of the said road.
An official from the NHA suggested to resolve the issue with mutual consultations. In response, Senator Lieutenant General Salahuddin Tirmizi (retd) rejected the suggestion. He said that past experience of mutual consultations has not been good. He added that if NHA can pay the contractors with penalty, then why not the landowners.
Meanwhile, the landowners have complained that Section 4 has been imposed in the areas for the last 18 years. But, they have not received any compensation.
During the previous meeting, NHA had informed that additional charge of the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhand Road (MNJ), which fall under the same project, has been assigned to land acquisition collector (LAC) CPEC (Havelian-Thakot Section). They had said that case of land acquisition is in process, and is expected to be completed soon.
Reports indicate that land measuring over 7,000 kanals was notified under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act (LAA) 1894. Later, a corrigendum notification was issued as per actual land acquisition requirement of 1,698 kanals.
The LAC of that time has already began the case for fund to conclude the land acquisition proceedings. An amount of PKR 164 million has been transferred to the respective district treasury. But the process got delayed due to the LAC’s transfer.
The sub-committee was formed to report within one week to resolve this matter. In addition, the Standing Committee directed the NHA chairman to form a fact-finding committee and carry out inquiry to reach officials involved in the matter.