DERA MURAD JAMALI: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Sunday announced a special relief package of Rs2.6 billion for three flood-ravaged districts of Balochistan while reminding relief workers of both the urgency of air dropping aid and respecting the dignity of the flood victims.
Some Rs2 billion is earmarked for rebuilding damaged infrastructure in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi and another Rs600 million will be used for relief materials, including food and medicines, in those districts.
The prime minister – who arrived in Dera Murad Jamali on the second consecutive day of his tour of the flood-hit areas – ordered immediate release of the amount.
He cautioned against dumping food and other relief goods and urged government agencies and relief workers to immediately distribute the same among the flood survivors and mitigate their sufferings.
In addition, he said that the federal government would pay for all the tents that the flood victims needed in the province.
Earlier, Prime Minister Ashraf reviewed the flood situation at a meeting and directed that in case of a transportation problem, a C-130 aircraft could be pressed into service for immediate disbursement of relief goods.
Attendees at the meeting included Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, National Regulations and Services Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Science and Technology Minister Changez Khan Jamali.
He also ordered provision of 20,000 tents instead of 10,000 earlier demanded by the provincial government. He said the federal government would provide all necessary funds for the acquisition of tents.
Premier Ashraf also announced a compensation of Rs400,000 each for the families of those who lost their lives in the deluge and directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate and send a list of the deceased for payments.
On Saturday, the prime minister announced a similar amount for the families of 15 people, who lost their lives in southern Punjab. He assured that medicines needed for the flood-affected people would be provided by the federal government.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the flood ravages were 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 asked Minister Changez Jamali to visit the affected regions to personally monitor the situation. He stressed the need for “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 devastated areas.
Earlier, the prime minister had an aerial visit of the inundated areas of Dera Murad Jamali to witness the extent of damage caused by the flash floods.
Thousands of acres of land in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi have been swamped by hill torrents, uprooting thousands of people and ravaging road and communication networks.
The prime minister also distributed relief goods among the displaced people and assured that the government would ensure assistance reaches all flood victims.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.
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