Punjab to ‘rebuild all homes’

Province received 85% more than normal rainfall, says cabinet panel chief

Our Correspondent September 02, 2022
A flood victim stands amid the damages of his house, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Nowshera, Pakistan August 31, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS


Punjab Ministerial Disaster Management Committee Chairman Muhammad Basharat Raja has vowed that all families displaced by flood and rains will soon be resettled in their homes.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, he said the reconstruction work of the houses would start as soon as the water would recede. Punjab government will leave no stone unturned to provide sufficient financial resources for the affected people.

The minister told media persons that Punjab had received a total of 364 millimetres of rain this year, which was 85 per cent more than normal. “Although there were pre-monsoon flood warnings and all necessary preparations had been made by the departments concerned, they did not prove to be effective against the unprecedented heavy rains,” he regretted.

Bisharat Raja said 188 deaths had occurred as a result of rains and floods in the entire province.

“Apart from this, at least 3,256 people were injured while 25, 315 houses were damaged,” he said.

The minister said the districts of Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mianwali were the most affected.

He said 644,339 people were affected by the rains and floods, while more than 200,000 cattle head had perished.

He said Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi was himself supervising all the relief activities.

“Flood-affected areas have already been declared calamity hit. At present, the relief work is in the final stages, then the most crucial phase of rehabilitation will begin,”

the provincial minister told the media. Basharat Raja said that a relief package had been approved by the chief minister for the affected people.

“Compensation of Rs1 million will be given to the next of kin of each deceased person. Earlier, aid was not given for the construction of mud houses, but this time the government will also provide aid for their reconstruction,” he announced.

The chairman of the high powered ministerial committee said 184 relief camps had been established in the affected areas.

A total of 33,478 tents, 4,400 bags of flour, 68,637 food hampers, more than 3,000 pots and thousands of water bottles have been distributed in three tehsils of Rajanpur, four of Dera Ghazi Khan and one tehsil of Mianwali.

The minister said Rs100 million had been immediately released to the deputy commissioner of DG Khan, Rs80 million to Rajanpur and Rs65 million to the Mianwali DC. “Any additional funds required will be provided,” he vowed.

He said that overseas Pakistanis were as usual leading in helping their brothers and sisters facing difficult times.

The provincial minister said a large amount in donations had been collected in a few minutes on the call of PTI chairman Imran Khan during a telethon organised recently. Basharat Raja said that along with the government, welfare organisations were also actively involved in helping the affected people.

“This is a national tragedy. The victims will not be left alone. We salute their courage and passion," he said and expressed hope that the nation would come out of the difficult time in a better way.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2022.


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