PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed disaster management authorities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata to work together and provide all necessary facilities at the Jalozai Camp.
More than 12,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) families, who left their native areas due to the military onslaught against militants in the tribal areas, are currently residing at the camp.
The PHC, while taking suo motu notice of the unavailability of basic necessities at the camp in April 2012, had directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to ensure that facilities, including that for health and education, are available for the displaced people.
A two member-bench comprising PHC Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Sajjad Hassan Shah, while hearing the case on Thursday, was informed that conditions had improved at the camp and the families will be taken care of during the extreme summers. The court said that the camp should be well maintained before the beginning of Ramazan.
PDMA Chief Coordinating Officer Faiz Rasool told the bench that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government was initially reluctant to issue funds, but after much insistence it finally gave in. He added that every tent had electric supply and around 3,000 families had been given pedestal fans.
Asghar Ali, director-general of the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), said that the camp is situated in settled areas and therefore the PDMA is responsible for its upkeep and not the FDMA.
“Can you sit for 20 minutes inside a camp without a fan?” CJ Khan asked.
Rasool said that four chilling plants were being installed at the camp which will provide cold drinking water to the IDPs. But CJ Khan ordered Ali to do the same and provide four more chilling plants so that the need for cold water can be catered to.
The bench also directed the chief executive of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company and the general manager of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company to ensure regular supply of electricity.
He told the director-general of FDMA to also install generators for times when electricity supply is suspended to the area.
The court directed the PDMA and FDMA to conduct surveys of other IDP camps in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata so they can be provided the same facilities.
He added that action will be taken against officials concerned in case they fail to comply with court orders.
The chief justice also directed the district and sessions judge in Nowshera to visit the camp and ensure that court orders have been followed, and submit a report about his findings by August 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.
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