KARAK/ CHITRAL/ HARIPUR/ BAHAWALPUR:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday assured flood victims in southern Punjab that the government would mobilise all its resources for their relief and rehabilitation as flash floods cut a swath through different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), killing at least nine people and washing away scores of homes.
Addressing dozens of flood victims at Chachran in Khanpur tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan, the premier warned that no slackness would be tolerated on the part of any official, as he called upon the authorities to mobilise all resources for relief and rehabilitation efforts.
“The local administration should take further precautionary measures in case there are more rains in the area and helicopters and boats should be used in case of emergency during rescue operations,” he said.
The prime minister also directed the administration to provide everyday use items to the affected people to ensure that their miseries are mitigated. He voiced hope that the people displaced by the rising waters would be able to return to their homes soon.
The premier also announced that survivors would be compensated for the flood damage.
The premier said he rushed to visit the area as soon as he knew about the flooding to make sure that effective measures were taken to tackle the situation. “Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will also visit the flood hit areas soon,” he added.
Prime Minister Nawaz also visited relief camps established by the administration in Chachran. He was also briefed at a relief camp by the DCO Rahim Yar Khan Captain (retd) Zafar Iqbal.
During the briefing, the DCO said 556,000 cusec of water in the River Indus was passing through the district due to which 66 mozas of the area were flooded.
“Over 41,396 acres of crops have been affected while 34,715 locals have been rescued and shifted to safe locations. Some 53,809 cattle have also been vaccinated,” he added.
The PM also visited the medical camps established in the flood relief camps. He was informed that 21 flood relief camps have been set up in the district to cater to the needs of 56,000 people.
He was also briefed about the vulnerable sites in the district and informed that measures have been taken to control erosion of embankments by reinforcing the existing structures.
He said a sum of Rs40 million has been allocated for sewerage lines in the area.
Casualties in K-P
At least nine more people died in various parts of K-P as flash floods continued to wreak havoc. A man was swept away by a deluge in Bandogol area in Chitral, which is the worst affected by the recent monsoon rains.
In a separate incident, two children drowned in rainwater in Karak district while two youngsters were swept away by a heavy current while they were crossing River Haro in Haripur. In a similar incident, 23-year-old Hafiz Shahbaz drowned in the Ghazi tehsil.
A man died in Morr Kaho village, whose 250 houses were also washed away in floods. Three children also died due to flooding of Mozderkol Nulla and Kosht Nulla.
The K-P government has announced Rs1.44 billion for the reconstruction of bridges, roads and irrigation channels, stated an official press release. K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has also separately approved Rs300 million for the construction of different roads affected by floods.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2015.
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