GILGIT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday the flash floods that ravaged parts of Gilgit-Baltistan were primarily caused by rapid melting of glaciers.

Speaking to the flood-hit people in Khaploo, the district headquarters of Ghanche, he said the government was fully aware of the devastation caused by floods in the region and assured them that all available resources would be utilised to ease the crisis.

“People of the area have always rendered valuable services for development and progress of Pakistan,” he said and added the government would not leave them alone at this critical juncture.

Affected people assured of all possible help from government

He said the region would be provided all the resources required for its development with a focus on education and health.

The prime minister announced that Rs500 million would be provided for reconstruction of roads in the area and the heirs of each person who died in the calamity would be given Rs500,000 in compensation.

Those who got injured would be provided Rs150,000 each and the people whose houses were damaged would get Rs250,000.

He also announced a grant of Rs150m for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for expediting relief work.

Mr Sharif promised that the Gilgit-Skardu road would be improved and extended to Khaploo. He instructed the officials concerned to assess the damages quickly so that provision of relief was not delayed.

The prime minister said Gilgit-Baltistan would benefit greatly from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor because the region had a pivotal position in the project.

He said the federal government would help the regional government transform its economy into a strong and sustainable one.

He praised the army, Gilgit-Baltistan government and NDMA for starting the relief operations immediately after the calamity.

Mr Sharif also took an aerial view of the affected areas and distributed relief goods among the people.

Force Commander Northern Areas Major General Asim received him at the headquarters of Brigade 323 at Uching.

The civilian and military authorities briefed the prime minister about the extent of losses. He was informed that timely relief measures had contained the loss of lives but the floods had caused substantial damage to property and infrastructure.

Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman informed Mr Sharif that the PML-N got a mandate from all areas and communities of Gilgit-Baltistan in the recent elections. Governor Birjis Tahir was also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2015

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