Karachi-Quetta highway continues to remain closed for traffic for third straight day

Published August 15, 2022
A view of the damaged Karachi-Quetta highway in Balochistan on Monday. — Photo by Ismail Sasoli
A view of the damaged Karachi-Quetta highway in Balochistan on Monday. — Photo by Ismail Sasoli

The National Highway (N-25), also known as the RCD Highway that connects Karachi to Quetta, continued to remain closed for the third straight day on Monday after suffering damage during rains and floods.

Lasbela Deputy Commissioner (DC) Murad Kasi told Dawn.com that a recently established alternate route near the Landa area of Uthal on the National Highway was washed away by floods on Friday, leaving long queues of stranded vehicles over the past three days, including those carrying commercial goods.

Kasi said that the water level in the Landa river had dropped, and thus, restoration work on the road would begin today, following which the road would be operational for traffic.

He added that the National Highway Authority had been directed to expedite and complete the restoration operation soon.

The DC also said that relief operations in Lasbela, which were suspended for two days, resumed today.

Separately, locals said land connectivity was cut off from the flood-affected area of Lakhra and restoration work for it had begun.

Meanwhile, a report from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that the death toll in the province since June 1 had reached 196, with 81 injured and 19,762 houses partially or completely damaged.

CM holds survey meeting

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo held a meeting to survey the relief operations and the damages in flood-affected areas.

The PDMA director general and the secretaries of relevant departments briefed the meeting on relief activities.

The meeting decided to form special teams comprising officers who would provide assistance to the administration of affected districts in surveying damages.

The moot decided that the initiative's objective was to complete survey work within the stipulated period.

"The entire province is affected by the flood. We have to look at every district," the chief minister said. He instructed the deputy commissioner to determine an accurate estimate of the losses.

PM orders cash relief to each flood-affected family within three days

Presiding over a meeting of the Relief Coordination Committee constituted for the flood-affected areas, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed to ensure the provision of Rs50,000 relief to each flood-affected family in the flood-hit areas through a transparent process within three days.

He said the Benazir Income Support Programme will provide Rs50,000 cash relief to every flood-affected family under the supervision of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The prime minister further said that the disbursement should be ensured through electronic transfer so that the deserving people get relief. He directed the Flood Relief Coordination Committee to finalise the disbursement process and present its report by evening today.

PM Shehbaz also said that the joint survey in coordination with the provincial governments for the assessment of flood-related losses should be completed in three weeks instead of five weeks.

"The provincial governments should also cooperate and coordinate with NDMA regarding the joint survey at the earliest and to ensure timely relief for the flood-affected people," he added.

Shehbaz said that it was the prerogative of the provincial governments e to become part of the federal government’s flood relief efforts, adding, however, that the federal government would ensure the relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people through its own resources.

He also directed Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb to formulate a comprehensive awareness campaign in that regard.

The meeting was further told that as the federal government was in contact with international donors and other welfare institutions, the Asian Development Bank and World Bank had already assured provision of necessary funds for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas.

The meeting was also informed that teams of doctors and paramedics were sent to the flood-affected areas and the Higher Education Commission was assessing the damages in affected educational institutions.

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