ISLAMABAD: The Gilgit-Baltistan government will demand Rs12billion from the federal government for rebuilding the region in wake of the disaster caused by the floods, Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah said on Sunday.
Shah said he will present his demand at the meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) scheduled for Monday.
Although the federal government has not awarded Gilgit-Baltistan membership in the CCI, the chief minister will attend the meeting as a special case to brief the leadership on the devastation caused by the floods to the area.
The chief minister was not invited to the maiden meeting of the CCI held in July this year, in which the forum formally approved the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam at Chilas near Gilgit. The decision sparked criticism in the area against the federal government since consent of the key stakeholder (GB) was not sought before approving the project.
Shah said he has been specially invited to Monday’s meeting. “The government has estimated that the region has suffered losses worth Rs12 billion in seven districts,” he said.
Shah was optimistic that the federal government will soon consider awarding CCI membership to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The chief minister said that the situation in the region has normalised after opening of the Naran-Kaghan road through Babusar top. The floods had blocked the Karakoram Highway, disrupting supply of food items, fuel and medicine to the area.
It is said that a shortage of supply still persists and people will probably celebrate Eid without proper food items and other necessities of life in the far-flung areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2010.
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