Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said while he was out of the province, authorities were busy tending to people affected by Friday’s catastrophic rains.
The CM issued this statement while speaking to the media on Sunday at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where most of the victims of are being treated.
The death toll from the downpour, lasting an hour-and-a-half, crossed 21, while over 50 others suffered injuries. Rescue 1122 Spokesperson Bilal Faizi told The Express Tribune most of the casualties resulted from collapsing walls and roofs, while uprooted trees also injured some people.
Khattak directed the health department to utilise all available resources and provide people with the best medical treatment.
He also warned senior medical staff of consequences if they failed to improve hospital conditions. The CM complained to LRH CEO Dr Muzafaruddin about the faulty air-conditioning and directed Minister for Health Shahram Tarakai to transfer Director General Health Dr Abdul Waleed.
Dr Muzafaruddin told Khattak the government employees’ unions were interfering with hospital affairs. The CM asked the CEO to provide information on such individuals so action could be taken against them.
While the CM and most of PTI’s provincial leadership was busy with the Azadi march in Islamabad on Friday and Saturday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Marvi Memon visited LRH on Saturday to inquire after the injured. She accused the PTI government of deserting the people of the province in their hour of need and announced Rs100,000 as compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs50,000 for those injured.
Development in K-P
Speaking about development projects in the city, Khattak said contracts for sewerage and clean water supply schemes would be awarded on September 15.
“The PTI agenda is reform-centric and wants to provide basic amenities to the people,” the CM added.
He claimed a PTI government could provide electricity at Rs2 per unit instead of Rs18 like the incumbent regime at the Centre, which has not been able to bring prices down despite taking huge foreign loans.
Khattak lashed out at the federal and Punjab governments, saying 36 kilometres of railway track had been laid down at a cost of Rs50 billion.
“We will make the same track in our province for Rs10 billion,” he said.
Food distributed to victims
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) distributed food to the rain victims on behalf of the K-P and Punjab governments.
At a ceremony attended by K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Minister for Information Mushtaq Ghani and Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan, it was stated that the families had been registered before being handed the food packages.
Ghani said the CM directed him to assess the situation in wake of the recent catastrophe. “We are taking steps to provide more relief and this will remain an ongoing process,” he said. Qaiser added that the rains had broadly affected the power supply across the province as 30 feeders started malfunctioning. “It is shocking that the federal government has not announced relief packages or mega projects for the province,” added the speaker.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th,2014.