The rain-stricken districts of Sindh, Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan, are likely to be declared disaster-hit, according to the provincial rehabilitation minister, Muzaffar Shujra.
“I will recommend this to the chief minister,” he said while speaking at a press conference on Friday night. “He has the authority of pronouncing an area disaster-hit.”
The monsoon rains have inundated seven districts of Sindh. A large number of people from Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan evacuated and bore heavy losses to their crops and property.
Shujra said that the provincial government directed the district coordination officers to conduct surveys of losses to crops, property and lives for compensation by the government.
He said that the families of rain victims will be compensated with Rs100,000 for each loss of life. However, Shujra was uncertain about compensation for those who were injured.
“It is not decided yet,” he said. “The figure might vary between 10,000 and 25,000 rupees.” The minister assured payments by Monday.
Farmers representatives in Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan put the losses of crops in billions of rupees.
But the government will carry out a survey in the affected districts for compensation, said Shujra. “I can’t tell exactly what percentage of losses we are going to recompense to the growers,” he answered a question. The government has limited resources and we are still trying to overcome the havoc and the loss from last year’s floods, he added.
The rehabilitation minister said that he has requested the Sindh government to give five billion rupees to the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA).
“We have requested the government to furnish Rs5 billion for the purpose,” said Shujra, whose ministry oversees PDMA.
The PDMA needs helicopters, ambulances, other necessary equipment and properly manned offices in all districts of the province, he added.
The PDMA dispatched 1,000 tents and 120 tonnes of rice for the affected people of Tando Muhammad Khan and Badin. “We have also released Rs5 million for each district for relief,” he added.
He said that the provincial government directed every district to earmark two per cent from their development budget for the PDMA. “DCO Tando Muhammad Khan told me that his district has over Rs40 million for PDMA,” said Shujra. “I have asked them to utilise the amount for rescue and relief works.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.