Rs 40b to be given to 0.9 mln flood-hit families: Shahbaz

Punjab government will distribute a compensation grant of Rs 40 billion among 900,000 families affected by flood calamity in the province.

Briefing media at 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the distribution of compensation amount would be made soon after flood water would recede.

This process would be initiated in districts Mianwali, Bhakkar and Layyah before Eid-ul-Fitr.

The payments to flood victims would be made through NADRA and UBL for which a software had been developed to ensure transparency in this regard, he added.

To a question, the Chief Minister said, it was agreed upon in the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) meeting to give Rs 20,000 assistance to each affected family, with an equal contribution by federal and respective provincial governments.

This compensation amount would be extended to the calamity-stricken people after Eid, as the process would take a month to be operational, he asserted.

However, he added that every affected family should be given at least Rs 100,000 compensation, as was suggested to Prime Minister by PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.

The Chief Minister urged the federal government to spent Rs 50 billion allocation of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) on the rehabilitation of flood affectees.

Shahbaz Sharif said the government would also provide free of cost seeds and fertilizers to growers having up to 25 acres of agri-land in the affected areas.

To a question, he said that all precautionary measures were being adopted to avert epidemics in the flooded areas, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) had provided malaria kits, which help diagnose the disease before its attack.

“While, foreign countries had provided field hospitals, operational in Sindh province, Saudi Arabia and UK would send 100 and 200-bed field hospitals respectively for Punjab”, he highlighted.

Donated by Pakistani Diaspora in the US, 20 filtration plants, each sufficient for 500 individuals, had been installed in the flooded areas, he maintained.

The floods displaced around 900,000 families, damaged (complete/partially) 700,000 houses, and hundreds of schools, colleges, hospitals and other public infra-structures.

The Punjab government has so far distributed 40,000 tents, millions of packets of dry ration, medicines, cooked meal worth millions of rupees and 600,000 mineral water bottles.

Punjab also received 17,000 tents and dry ration from the federal government.

Survey committees at district level have been constituted to assess the damages to houses and other infra-structures, he mentioned.

To a question about breaches of embankments and dykes, he said the quarters concerned should be taken to task after thorough inquiry.