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MANSEHRA: PML-N MNA and parliamentary secretary for textile and industry in the National Assembly Sarzamin Khan has asked the federal and provincial governments to declare Kohistan a calamity-hit district following ravages by heavy rains.

He warned the families affected by the natural disaster would block the Karakoram Highway for indefinite period if the demand was not met.

“The rain-related incidents have killed more than 55 people in Kohistan, including 30 in Kandia by landslides, during the last three days but the Provincial Disaster Management Authority is not seen anywhere in the district,” he told reporters here on Monday.

The MNA said if the rescue and relief operations didn’t begin in Kohistan forthwith, the death toll from the rain ravages could go up as the people were buried under houses and buildings.

He said the calamity had cut Kohistan and Puttan off from other parts of the country for four days but it was unfortunate that neither the federal government nor the provincial government had taken measures to assuage the people’s misery. Mr. Sarzamin said besides causing casualties, the rain-related incidents had also destroyed or damaged hundreds of houses and buildings in Kohistan.

He regretted the calamity-hit families had yet been without relief goods. “The people have been spending days and nights in the open for many days but nobody is coming to their help,” he said.

WATER SCHEMES: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has planned water schemes for Mansehra district.

“The local population direly needs water schemes. I am thankful to the chief minister for sanctioning Rs10 million for the purpose,” local MPA Zareen Gul told reporters here on Monday.

Mr. Gul said he was striving to get water schemes approved for all parts of the district and that work on the schemes for which funds had been approved would begin soon.

He thanked Qaumi Watan Party lawmaker Mohammad Ibrar for diverting Rs8 million from own funds for water supply schemes in Darband area.

The MPA said huge funds were being spent for the development of backward Torghar.

DRUGSTORES SEALED: The health department on Monday sealed seven unlicensed drugstores. It also seized Indian and other unregistered medicines. The development came during surprise raids on medical stores in Mansehra and Oghi by drug inspector Tauseef Ahmad. The drug inspector said the crackdown on unlicensed drugstores and those selling unregistered medicines would continue in the district in line with the health minister’s directives.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2016