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Farmers want agricultural land excluded from road project

Farmers want agricultural land excluded from road project

MANSEHRA: The administration of Hazara division has started acquisition of land from Havelian to Shinkiari for the second phase of motorway but landowners want it to exclude their agricultural lands from the strategically important project.

“We don’t want to create any sort of problem in execution of this nationally important project but our agricultural lands should be spared by diverting the road to other side which would also reduce a distance of five kilometres,” Sajid Mumtaz Khan, the secretary general of PTI for Hazara division, told journalists here on Wednesday.

He said that the officials of National Highway Authority, Environmental Protection Agency and other departments concerned held a meeting with landowners and farmers earlier this week. The farmers and landowners raised issues pertaining to land prices and agricultural farms in the meeting, he added.

Mr Khan said that although acquisition of land from Havelian to Shinkiari was started and administrations of Mansehra and Abbottabad districts were involved in the process in their repetitive area but issues related to farmers and landowners were yet to be addressed.

He said that if government wanted to reduce five kilometres distance in Mansehra then it should acquire land from Maswal to Kulhara area in Baffa instead of the planned land acquisition from Maswal to Bakrial and then Bajna. It would not only reduce a five kilometres distance but would also save agricultural lands in the district, he added.

Mr Khan said that rate of the land should be also fixed in accordance with the market price. “The provincial government has clearly directed the district administrations not to acquire agricultural lands for development projects but the administration is acquiring such land for the projects which should be stopped immediately,” said Mr Khan.

PhD: A scholar, who successfully defended his PhD thesis on natural means of curing patients here on Wednesday, said that herbs of a remote area in Gilgit-Baltistan could be used as life saving drugs.

“Although the entire Gilgit-Baltistan is enriched with exotic species of flora and fauna yet Deosai is an area where life saving and disease remedial herbs are found in abundance,” said Kifayatullah Khan while defending his thesis.

Dr Siraj, the chairman of department of botany, University of Peshawar, and Dr Mir Ajab Khan, the dean of plant sciences at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, were his external examiners while former registrar of Hazara University Dr Muqarrab Shah and chairman of genetics Dr Habib Ahmad performed as supervisor and co-supervisor of the scholar.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2015

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