Speaker seeks release of funds for quake victims

Published April 30, 2021
Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has directed the officials concerned to submit details of the earthquake victims of Washuk district. — Syed Ali Shah/File
Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has directed the officials concerned to submit details of the earthquake victims of Washuk district. — Syed Ali Shah/File

QUETTA: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has directed the officials concerned to submit details of the earthquake victims of Washuk district who have not received rehabilitation and compensation funds.

While presiding over a session of the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday, he expressed concern over non-payment of rehabilitation and compensation funds to the earthquake victims.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MPA Mir Zabit Reki pointed out that the earthquake victims of Washuk district were facing difficulties in receiving compensation funds.

Mr Reki, while speaking on a point of order, said that thousands of people in Awaran and Mashkel were affected by the earthquake in 2014. The then chief minister, Dr Malik Baloch, had announced a grant of Rs100 million which had been released by the Finance Department, but the Washuk deputy commissioner was allegedly creating hurdles in disbursement of this amount to victims.

He said around 2,000 tube wells in these district had been seized by some people.

He said the deputy commissioner is a public servant and he should solve problems of the people and should not be an obstacle in resolution of their issues. He demanded that the deputy commissioner should be ordered to immediately release the funds to the earthquake victims.

Speaker Bizenjo, who himself belongs to Awaran district, appreciated the previous government for releasing the funds for the earthquake victims and said that the deputy commissioner should be asked why the funds had not been released to the victims.

Speaker Bizenjo also took notice of cancellation of flights of PIA and Serene Air from Karachi and Islamabad to Quetta and high prices of tickets on the Quetta route. He termed it an injustice with the people of Balochistan.

He directed the Assembly’s secretary to summon senior officials of both the airlines in the Assembly for an explanation. He claimed that the airlines were selling the tickets at a higher price in Balochistan.

Speaking on the point of order, Balochistan National Party parliamentary leader Malik Naseer Ahmad Shahwani said that basic issues of the people, including gas, water and electricity, should not be ignored in the next budget of the province.

The speaker said that he would ask the government to give maximum funds to opposition members in the budget so that they could solve problems of the people.

He asked the government to ensure presence of secretaries concerned, including the chief secretary and the inspector general of police, in the gallery during the assembly session.

Nasarullah Zerey of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party pointed out the absence of senior officials in the gallery.

Speaker Bizenjo said that the chief secretary should be written for ensuring the presence of secretaries in the assembly’s sessions.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2021

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