PM Ashraf gives Rs 2.6bn to flood-hit Balochistan
24 September, 2012
DERA MURAD JAMALI: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday visited the flood-hit areas of Dera Murad Jamali and announced a special relief package of Rs 2.6 billion for three districts of Balochistan affected by the recent flash floods.
The prime minister, who arrived in the area on the second day of his visits to flood-hit areas, directed for immediate release of the fund. The package includes an amount of Rs 2 billion for restoration of the damaged infrastructure and Rs 600 million for relief goods, mainly food and medicines.
Raja also attended a meeting to review the flood situation and directed that in the case of transportation problems, C-130 aircraft be used for immediate disbursement of relief goods.
The meeting was attended by Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, National Regulations and Services Minister Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan and Science and Technology Minister Changez Khan Jamali.
The prime minister emphasised that food and other relief goods must be immediately distributed among the affected people to mitigate their sufferings. He also directed for provision of 20,000 tents, instead of the 10,000 earlier demanded by the provincial government. He said the federal government would provide all necessary funds for acquisition of tents.
He also announced a compensation of Rs 400,000 each for the families of those who lost their lives in the floods and directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate and send a list of the deceased for payments.
The prime minister earlier announced a similar relief package for the families of 15 people who lost their lives in southern Punjab. He assured that the federal government would provide the medicines needed for the flood victims.
Raja said the devastation caused by the floods was a challenge for the entire nation. He commended the services of the provincial government and the armed forces for effectively carrying out relief activities.
He said the provision of food and shelter to the flood victims was the government's foremost priority. He asked the science and technology minister to remain present in the affected areas to personally monitor the situation. Raja also underlined well-coordinated efforts among various government departments working for relief and rehabilitation. He directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) and WAPDA to focus on improving the infrastructure in the affected areas.
Raja reiterated the government's resolve to keep the uplift of Balochistan its top priority as committed by President Asif Ali Zardari. He said the NHA and Finance Division had already been directed to release funds for mega projects in the province, including the Kachhi Canal Project. "Mega projects in Balochsitan would be executed on war footings," he said.
The prime minister earlier had an aerial visit of the inundated areas of Dera Murad Jamali to witness the extent of damage caused by the floods. Thousands of acres of land in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi has been flooded due to raging hill torrents, besides displacing thousands and compounding the problem with severing of the road and communication links.
The prime minister was also briefed by the provincial chief secretary about the large-scale damage to property, crops and agricultural lands, the measures being adopted for provision of relief items to the displaced people, and the damage assessment that would begin after the water recedes. Raja distributed relief goods among the displaced people and assured them the government would ensure that assistance reached out to all flood victims.