Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday visited Zafarwal, Dehat Terah, Badomalhi, Bhangala Malian, Gujrat and Hafizabad to review flood-control arrangements.
He said he had always stood by the public during testing times. Sharif told the affected that he was aware of their problems and the government would compensate their losses. The chief minister said he had devoted his life to serving the public. Sharif expressed displeasure at finding a lack of boats to ferry the affected in Hafizabad. He refused to leave Hafizabad till boats had been provided for them.
Sharif reprimanded Women Development Minister Hameeda Waheedud Din for failing to address the issue. The chief minister also distributed eatables among the affected. He told the public at Dehat Terah and Zafarwal that he had kept true to his word and had visited the Zafarwal again. Sharif said he was saddened by the loss of life in the events of the past few days. He said the government would ensure that the affected were rehabilitated. The chief minister said he was personally monitoring the relief effort. Sharif said he had instructed lawmakers to monitor relief efforts in their constituencies.
A family displaced by flood builds a hut on the bank of River Ravi. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS
He praised the fortitude of the public and said Pakistanis had the ability to overcome all challenges confronting them. Sharif said he would continue touring affected areas till normalcy returned. The chief minister instructed district authorities to conduct land surveys to compensate those affected equitably. He praised the administration and his team for their efforts.
Praising the efforts of lawmakers and officials he directed them to continue relief activities with the same resolve. Sharif inspected the arrangements made on his instructions and told officials that he was personally reviewing the situation. Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Provincial Minister for Agriculture Farrukh Javed were present on the occasion.
The chief minister visited Baddomalhi and inspected the inundated areas. He directed officials to ensure that fodder for livestock was provided. Sharif visited the Marala-Ravi Link Canal to inspect the breach there. He instructed irrigation officials to repair it immediately to stop floodwaters.
Spotting Sharif inspecting the situation in a boat the public thronged to the spot and some people raised slogans praising him. The chief minister interacted with them and urged them to speak to him fearlessly. He told them that he had come to resolve their problems.
Sharif paid a surprise visit to Bhangala Malian to inspect flood-control arrangements using a boat. Iqbal and Sharif praised lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for rising to the occasion. Iqbal said the PML-N had always strived to serve the public.
Separately, the chief minister said that the pace of rescue and relief activities being carried out in affected areas should be increased. He was presiding over a meeting convened to review flood-control arrangements. Sharif instructed officials to utilise all resources at their disposal to overcome the challenge.
He said more relief camps should be established across the Punjab. The chief minister instructed officials to ensure that basic necessities were available in the camps. He instructed officials to ensure that mobile filtration plants were sent to the camps. Sharif said district officials and ministers had been instructed to monitor flood-control arrangements personally. He said the government had decided to declare emergency in the Punjab after it had been lashed by monsoon rain and flood.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2014.