Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said that no construction will be allowed on the banks of Swat River as most of the losses have been caused due to such constructions and encroachments adding that laws have already been enacted to stop buildings on the banks of the rivers across the province.
He said this while talking to journalists during his day-long visit to district Swat on Saturday.
The chief minister, visited various flood-affected areas of Swat including Chupriyal, Sukhra, and Gulkarai where he assessed the damages caused by recent flash floods. Mahmood Khan also met flood victims and expressed his grief over their losses and assured steps to redress it.
Former Federal Minister Murad Saeed, Chairman DDAC Fazal Hakeem Yousafzai, Commissioner Malakand Division Shaukat Ali Yousafzai and other senior officials were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister said that measures are being taken on an emergency basis for the immediate rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure, while relief activities are underway consistently in all the affected districts to provide all possible help to the flood victims.
Emergency has been declared for relief activities in flood affected districts including Swat.
Mahmood Khan revealed that current floods are many times greater and more dangerous than past.
Encroachments on rivers and canals have increased the vulnerability of the population.
He warned that construction on either side of rivers and canals would not be tolerated anymore.
To rescue the stranded people in flood-hit areas, the provincial government has already dedicated its heli service for carrying out rescue operations.
The district administrations and relevant authorities are present on the ground to provide relief to flood affectees.
The stranded tourists are rescued through heli service and transferred to safe places where they are provided with free food and accommodation.
CM Mahmood Khan informed that relief and rehabilitation operations are to be carried out even if it costs the whole of provincial ADP.
He furthered that the provincial government has already released an amount of Rs1 billion for rescue activities while Rs2 billion more to be released soon to keep the operations on.
CM announced that after completion of the rescue operation, another round of surveys to be carried out to gauge destructions caused by heavy floods.
He assured full support to restore and rehabilitate the devastated infrastructure and condemned the federal government and its relief organizations for showing zero presence in the province.
The CM said the federal government has totally failed in the provision of any rescue and relief support to the affectees of K-P.
He promised complete rehabilitation and restoration of government infrastructure, adding that he would keep visiting the flood-hit areas and the government wouldn’t let the affectees to be suffered anymore.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2022.