Bandipora, Gurez residents face forced migration threat

Publish Date: Oct 25 2013 12:00PM

Gurez (Bandipora), Oct 24: Residents of many villages in Gurez and Bandipora are up in arms against the authorities as they are facing the challenge of forced migration due to the ongoing work of 330 MW Kishenganga Hydroelectric Power Project (KGHPP).
 In an on-going construction of the Power Project four villages, including Badwon, Khopri, Khandyal and Wanpora, comprising around 1000 souls would submerge after the 37 feet dam construction is over river.
 “The project construction is affecting about 607 families in which 135 are losing both land and houses, 50 are losing houses while 422 are losing land,” officials said.
 The residents in these villages are now facing a challenge of “forced migration.” Lacking ample land in the area the government earlier had decided to relocate the affected villagers to Tragbal which didn’t mature. Later it was decided to rehabilitate villagers in Srinagar the decision is yet to be implemented.
 “There is no land in Gurez where the affected families can be settled,” an officer told Greater Kashmir.
 “Several options are available but affected people are not ready to accept the decision of the authorities,” he added.
 Meanwhile Sub Divisional Magistrate Gurez Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah said: “We are working out the proper rehabilitation plan for affected villages.”

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