ISLAMABAD: Almost six years after the October 8 earthquake that killed over 75000 people and flattened Muzaffrabad, while affecting Islamabad, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday reiterated the resolve of his government to completely rehabilitation the victims of that fated morning in 2005.
Addressing the 13th convention of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) Council, Gilani expressed his satisfaction over the many developmental works completed in the affected areas devastated by earthquake. He said it was encouraging to know that 55 per cent of the total portfolio has been accomplished with 29 per cent of the projects at various stages of construction.
He noted that over 1600 projects have been added since the council last met. Of the projects, about 900 were educational structures.
Prime Minister said that though projects and programmes worth Rs365 billion had been completed, concerted efforts were required to complete the remaining projects worth Rs100 billion, most of which were educational facilities.
Gilani however said that despite the successes a lot still needed to be done.
The meeting also attended by Prime Minister of AJ&K, Chief Ministers, Chairman ERRA, Deputy Chairman ERRA and members of the ERRA Council also had representatives from Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan in addition to existing members from KPK and AJ&K.
Gilani termed the meeting an event of historical significance, being the first Council Meeting after ERRA’s new found status as a permanent body with new council members.
Welcoming the new members, the Prime Minister said the nation was struggling to address complex socio-economic challenges including the devastation caused by recent floods and was actively engaged in war against terrorism.
The Prime Minister said that despite challenges government’s commitment to the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas remains unwavering.
“This demonstrates the commitment of the government not to rest till the complete rehabilitation of the earthquake victims.”
Gilani said his government stands committed to reconstruction of the affected areas and would provide all requisite resources despite financial constraints.
He said since the earthquake of October 8, 2005, ERRA and its partners have made quantum leaps in raising modern facilities to bring life back to normalcy in earthquake affected areas.
ERRA and its development partners have come a long way in reconstructing the affected areas in an attempt to rehabilitate the people of AJ&K and KPK.
He commended the efforts of people, global partners and the world community at large who rose to occasion.
“Without their timely assistance, the mission of ‘Building Back Better’ would not have been possible,” he said.
He also pointed to the improvements in ERRA’s performance that have been acknowledged both by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services through ISO 9001 certification and conferment of prestigious United Nations Sasakawa Award 2011.
He termed these “hallmarks of rare distinction and honour for a governmental institution.”