PM announces Rs 2.6 bln relief package for Balochistan’s flood-hit areas

DERA MURAD JAMALI: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Sunday visited the flood-hit areas of Dera Murad Jamali and announced a special relief package of Rs 2.6 billion for the three districts of Balochistan affected by the recent flash floods.

The Prime Minister, who arrived here on the second consecutive day of his visits to the flood-hit areas, directed for immediate release of the amount. This includes an amount of Rs 2 billion for restoration of the damaged infrastructure and Rs 600 million for the relief goods, mainly food and medicines.

Prime Minister Ashraf, who attended the meeting to review the flood situation, directed that in case of transportation problem, a C-130 aircraft be used for immediate disbursement of relief goods.

The meeting was attended by Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, Federal Minister for National Regulations and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Federal Minister for Science and Technology Changez Khan Jamali.

The Prime Minister stressed that the food and other relief goods must not be dumped and be immediately distributed among the affected and displaced people so as to mitigate their sufferings.

He also directed for provision of 20,000 tents instead of the 10,000 earlier demanded by the provincial government. He said the federal government would provide all necessary funds for the acquisition of tents.

Prime Minister Ashraf also announced a compensation of Rs 400,000 each for the families of those, who lost their lives in the floods and directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to coordinate and send a list of the deceased for payments.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced a similar amount for the families of 15 people, who lost their lives in Southern Punjab.

He assured that the medicines needed for the flood affected would be provided by the federal government.

Raja Pervez Ashraf said that the devastation caused by the floods was a challenge for the entire nation. He commended the services of the provincial government and the Armed Forces for effectively carrying out relief activities.

The Prime Minister termed the provision of food and shelter to the flood victims the government’s foremost priority.

He asked minister Changez Jamali to remain present in the affected areas to personally monitor the situation.

Raja Ashraf stressed for “well-coordinated efforts” among various government departments working for relief and rehabilitation.

He directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the WAPDA to focus on improving the infrastruture in the affected areas.

The Prime Minister earlier had an aerial visit of the inundated areas of Dera Murad Jamali, to witness the extent of damage caused by the flash floods.

Thousands of acres of land in Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi have been flooded due to raging hill torrents, besides displacing  thousands and compounding the problem with severing of the road and communication links.

Accompanied by the Balochistan Governor, the Prime Minister was briefed by the Chief Secreary about the large scale damage to the built-up property, crops and agricultural lands, the measures being adopted for the provision of relief items to the displaced people, and the damage assessment, which would begin as the water receded.

Prime Minister Ashraf also distributed relief goods among the displaced people and assured that the government would ensure that assistance reaches out to all the flood affected people.