Fatal downpour: At least two die in Swabi, Khyber Agency

PDMA, FDMA people say Orakzai mine incident caused by explosion

Efforts under way to clear routes in Swat. PHOTO: SHERINZADA/EXPRESS

SWABI/ CHITRAL/ PESHAWAR: At least two more people died in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on Monday as rain continued to lash the region. The provincial government has said it has asked planners to devise a long-term strategy to “save” the province from floods.

A woman was killed when a landslide hit her house in an Afghan refugee camp near Gadoon Industrial Estate in Swabi. At least 48 rooms and seven lavatories have been destroyed in the refugee camp during the last week.

In another incident, 10-year-old Rashida died and six others of the same family were injured in Khasorgai village in Zakha Khel Bazaar of Landikotal, Khyber Agency. The injured were rushed to a hospital in Peshawar. Two minors were among those injured – their condition was said to be critical.

The officials from provincial and federal disaster management authorities said the mine workers who died in Orakzai Agency lost their lives because of an explosion in the mine and not inclement weather.

However, a search was still under way to find people who went missing after an avalanche hit Susum, Chitral on Saturday. Chitral Scouts Commandant Colonel Nizamuddin said one student escaped death as he was rescued in time.

Road blocked

An avalanche has blocked the road leading to Kalam Valley since the last four days. Although machinery has been brought in and the National Highway Authority has been clearing the 500-metre road, an official said it will take at least four more days. The blockade has caused a shortage of food and fuel in upper Swat.

“We are thankful that the army is helping along with the NHA, but more efforts are required,” Bahrain tehsil nazim Habibullah told the media.

A jirga was convened in Madyan where members of all political parties were present. Awami National Party MPA Jaffar Shah set the deadline of March29 to clear all closed roads. He said they would otherwise protest in Islamabad.

To prevent floods

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has asked planners to devise a long-term strategy which will protect the province from floods. He said the plan would be implemented with the help of the federal government.

He said this while chairing a mid-term review meeting of Annual Developmental Programme 2015-16 at Civil Secretariat, Peshawar on Monday morning, a statement read.

The CM directed that a plan be chalked out in light of the survey conducted to quantify losses caused by the 2010 floods.

Khattak also ordered the construction of a special wing at Central Prison Peshawar so inmates can be accommodated properly.

According to Khattak, no more drinking water schemes would be included in the coming budget. He also ordered the irrigation department to revise the PC-I of the Chashma Right Bank Left Canal project.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2016.


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