QUETTA, Sept 23: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announced on Sunday a package of Rs2.6 billion for rehabilitation of people and rebuilding of infrastructure in the flood-affected areas of Balochistan.
Addressing local elders, politicians and officials during a visit to the flood-hit districts of Naseerabad and Jaffarabad, the prime minister said his government was aware of the widespread destruction caused by flash floods triggered by torrential rains in eastern parts of the province.
He also took an aerial view of the flood-affected areas.
Mr Ashraf announced Rs2 billion for rebuilding the infrastructure and Rs600 million for food and relief items to be provided to the people.
He directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to pay Rs400,000 in compensation to each family which had lost a member.
The prime minister said the heavy downpour and flash floods had wreaked havoc on a large scale. The calamity is a challenge and the government will take all measures to rehabilitate the displaced people. He said the government was carrying out rescue and relief work with its own resources and more funds would also be released if needed. He asked the departments concerned to immediately restore utility services, including electricity and gas, in the affected areas. Mr Ashraf instructed Minister for Services and Regulations Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan to ensure that emergency health services, medicines and water filtering tablets were provided to the affected districts.
He ordered the NDMA to immediately provide 20,000 tents to the affected districts. He asked the water and power ministry to assist the irrigation department in its efforts to repair the canal system damaged by the flood.
The prime minister said that orders had been issued to release funds for completing all major projects in Balochistan, including the Kachhi canal. He directed the chairman of the National Highway Authority to inspect the damage caused to the communion system and restore the road structure as soon as possible.
Earlier, Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, provincial ministers Mir Sadiq Umrani, Sardar Aslam Bizenjo and Mir Saleem Khoso, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad received the prime minister at the Dera Murad Jamali helipad. Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and federal ministers Syed Khurshid Shah, Mir Changez Jamali, Rana Farooq Saeed and Dr Firdous Awan were present.
Sheharyar Sultan, Commissioner of Naseerabad division, briefed the prime minister on losses caused by flash floods and rescue and relief operation being carried out in the areas.
Prime Minister Ashraf said all available resources should be used to provide access to rescue teams to the flood-hit areas and accelerate the pace of relief work.