QUETTA: Authorities have restored road links to parts of eastern Balochistan which were cut off from the rest of the country following flash floods triggered by torrential rains in the region. However, train service remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day on Monday.
Relief work is being carried out in the worst-affected areas of Talli, Sultan Kot, Lehri, Kohlu and Barkhan where local administrations distributed goods and tents among the affected people. The provincial revenue department has started a survey of the region and will submit its report to the provincial government.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) held high-level meetings with the governor, chief secretary and secretaries of other departments to review relief efforts being carried out in the flood-hit districts.
Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has directed the authorities to expedite relief operations and take necessary steps to help the affected people.
PDMA director-general Hassan Baloch told The Express Tribune that so far 25,000 tents had been distributed among the affected people. “Keeping in view the large number of affected people, we need more tents and food items,” he added.
According to an official statement, 1,700 army and paramilitary troops, including four medical teams, are engaged in relief activities. It added that around 50 ton of rations, 221 tents and medicines have been sent to the affected villages.
Baloch said that water had been drained out from the flood-affected areas but people were reluctant to live in shelter camps, citing breach of privacy there.
“The government is making all-out efforts to provide relief to the affectees,” he said and added that different NGOs were also helping with relief operations.
Train service in the affected areas could not be restored as railway staff was busy repairing damages at 10 places. “It will take another day,” an official told The Express Tribune. However, road links have been restored in these areas.
Staff of the Quetta Electric Supply Corporation (Qesco) was also engaged in repairing damaged pylons in Sibi, Barkhan and Kohlu to restore power supply to these areas.
Meanwhile the Pakhtunkwa Mili Awami Party (PkMAP), Sibi chapter, staged a rally to protest “lack of relief efforts” in the affected villages. Participants marched through various roads and finally staged a sit-in at Saki roundabout. Addressing the gathering, PkMAP leaders Malik Faqir and Anwar Ahmed criticised the government for, what they called, insufficient relief activities in the affected areas.
The Commissioner Nasirabad, Sher Khan Bazai, said that around 6,000 people were rendered homeless after flash floods hit Tambo tehsil on Sunday. He said a free medical camp had been set up in the area and local administration was carrying out relief works.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2010.
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