WAZIRABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said the government will work on a comprehensive strategy for prevention of massive floods, that cause loss of precious lives and damage to property worth billions every year.
He was addressing here a gathering at the launch of disbursement of first installment worth Rs 25,000 as compensation to the flood victims under Khadim-e-Punjab Relief Package.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan was facing the brunt of climate change and urged the need for a National Committee on Prevention of Floods to examine the pattern of flooding.
He said the government was cognizant of massive losses caused by the recent devastating floods and the subsequent damages of billions across the country.
He said the government would take into account all factors that lead to flooding and would put in place a mechanism to avert the recurrence.
The Prime Minister mentioned the limited resources that Pakistan was facing and said the government had to take difficult decisions as many issues were on priority list including health,flood management, rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons and flood victims, education and communication network.
The prime minister earlier interacted with the flood-affected people and inquired about their problems and whether they were satisfied or not with the relief and rehabilitation measures being provided by the government. He mentioned an elderly man, who could not even recognize him due to poor eyesight, but told him about his satisfaction over the government’s relief operation.
Prime Minister Sharif lauded the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for personally supervising rescue and relief efforts and to stand by the people caught up in devastating waters.
He said no government in the past could even match this exemplary performance and also appreciated the district administration and the youth wing of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) for serving the masses.
The Prime Minister also lauded the role of the armed forces,police, Rescue 1122 service, irrigation and agriculture department and said the close coordination by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif helped in quick rescue and relief efforts.
He said though sudden floods did cause damage, but an equally quick response by the government helped avert damages to lives. He prayed to Allah Almighty to shower his blessings on those who lost their lives.
He said the quick response was evident from the fact that compensation had already been announced and its distribution started.
Nawaz Sharif said it was ensured that the initial compensation of Rs 25,000 be released before Eid and across the board without any discrimination.
He asked the nation to reach out to the flood-affected people and help them rebuild their homes by donating construction material, household goods, cooking utensils and clothing so that they may restart their lives.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif termed the recent floods as worst-ever that country has ever experienced since 1973. However, he said, the nation stood firm in face of the natural calamity and all organisations stepped in to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation services.
He appreciated National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA),Rescue 1122, Pakistan Army, Air Force and Navy, government departments, local and district administrations, police and philanthropists for their selfless service.
He said the first installment of Rs 25,000 would be given to all whose houses were either partially or fully damaged by floods.
Shahbaz Sharif said the second installment would be released on October 20 to those whose houses suffered damage, after an extensive survey of the damaged property.
He said the government of Punjab and the federal government would share the cost of rehabilitation of the affected people.
He said billions of rupees would be spent on the rehabilitation of flood victims and said a revolution of development schemes would follow in the flood ravaged areas.
He said all out help would be extended to the affected people and the government stands by them.
The Prime Minister was earlier briefed about the extent of damages caused by the heavy torrential rains and the rescue and rehabilitation efforts.