Corps Commander gives briefing to PM on relief activities

Corps Commander Multan Lt. Gen. Shafqaat Ahmad on Sunday gave a detailed briefing to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on relief operation, being carried out by Pakistan army in flood hit areas of South Punjab.

The Corps Commander said that army would utilise its own resources to reconstruct and renovate over 100 schools and as many health facilities including Basic Health Units (BHUs), Rural Health Units (RHUs) and hospitals which were damaged in floods.
Renovation and reconstruction of some of these damaged health centres and schools have been completed while work on others was in progress, the Corps Commander said adding that the process would complete by October 15.
He informed the Prime Minister that army was providing dry food packets, sufficient for 15 days, to nearly 378,000 people who have returned to their homes in the affected areas.
Prime Minister Gilani expressed satisfaction on the relief operation and lauded Pakistan army for its services in rescuing the flood hit people and providing them relief at their doorsteps.
He also hailed the role of other government agencies for their contribution in rescue and relief operation.
Lt. Gen. Shafqaat Ahmad said that work on restoration of 160 km long road network, 100 km railway track and 1000 km long irrigation network would be completed before September 15.
Water would be released in the canals on September 20 on experimental basis and its availability to farmers would be ensured for the Rabi crops, he added.
He said that almost 80 percent affected people of Layyah and Taunsa Sharif, 75 percent of Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffargarh and 60 percent people of flood hit Jampur have returned to their homes.
Some 20 to 25 percent affected persons of Rajanpur and Rojhan have also returned to their homes, he added.
Giving details of infrastructure restoration, he said that telecommunication network and electricity and gas supply to Layyah has been completed up to 83 percent, 95 percent in Dera Ghazi Khan and 90 percent in Rahimyar Khan.
The Multan Corps Commander said that the relief and rehabilitation process was in progress in a coordinated manner to ensure swift help to the affected people. He added that a coordination group comprising officers, UN representatives and army officers was operational.
He said that the main relief centre was operational in Multan from where relief goods were being transported to 12 more relief centres in flood hit areas and onward to other relief centres serving the people in flood devastated areas.

“Nearly 7,000 personnel of army are continuously busy in relief efforts with 12 helicopters, 3000 boats and taking the affected people out of danger to safe areas,” he said adding that they are also providing ration to more than 300,000 people on daily basis in their respective places.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Minister for Defence Production Sardar Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar besides MNAs and MPAs from flood hit areas were present. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.