MANSEHRA/SHANGLA: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Wednesday directed the relevant authorities to use helicopters for relief operations in the inaccessible flood-hit areas and said none of the disaster victims should be left without relief goods and healthcare.
“I won’t tolerate any negligence in the supply of relief goods and medicines to flooded areas,” Mr Mahmood told the people hit by the deluge in Pattan area of Lower Kohistan district.
The chief minister said the province had witnessed the worst natural disaster of its history but he won’t rest until all victims were rehabilitated.
He gave away Rs500,000 cheques to the heirs of each of the 12 people, who were killed by the deluge in the district.
Mahmood complains he wasn’t informed about PM’s visit to province
Mr Mahmood said the government had developed a comprehensive strategy for the early return of displaced families to the flood-hit districts.
“We [government] are with you and will not let you down in these critical times,” he said.
The chief minister said the government was providing flood relief to the families without discrimination and had begun a damage assessment survey for compensating people for destroyed and damaged property and crops.
He said he was supervising relief activities in the province, while his government had already begun distribution of compensation cheques.
Deputy commissioner Shakeel Ahmad told the chief minister that the flash floods killed 18 people and swept away roads, bridges and crops in the district.
Also in the day, the chief minister visited flood-affected areas in Shangla district and examined relief operations.
Talking to reporters in Karora area, Mr Mahmood said he ordered an inquiry shortly after learning about the relevant authorities’ alleged negligence regarding the drowning of four people in a flood-swollen river in Dubair area of Upper Kohistan district.
“Anyone found guilty of negligence won’t be spared,” he said.
The chief minister said he had two government choppers on his disposal but they couldn’t fly in bad weather, so its criticism over the death of four people stranded in the river was unjustified.
He complained that the federal government neither took his government on board regarding flood damage and relief activities in the province nor did it provide any support to the latter to manage the crisis.
Mr Mahmood said the prime minister visited the province but didn’t inform him about it.
“I was neither taken on board [about PM’s visit to KP] nor do I know what the federal government is doing in our province’s flood-hit areas,” he said.
The chief minister said if the centre couldn’t offer any help or support to the province, it should at least rehabilitate roads owned by the National Highway Authority and Frontier Works Organisation, power lines laid by the Peshawar Electric Supply Company, and gas pipelines.
He said the life of Sindh residents was miserable after being hit by monsoon flooding but paying them Rs50 each as relief was regrettable.
Mr Mahmood also said neither PPP co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari nor the Sindh CM visited any of the calamity-hit areas in their province, which continued to be inundated. He said his helicopters were used for rescue and relief work in Kalam and would be send to Kohistan as well.
“I am visiting the disaster-hit areas to monitor rescue and relief activities,” he said.
The chief minister said his government would build the Karora-Ajmeer Road and Karora-Chekesar Roads with the Asian Development Bank funding.
Shangla deputy commissioner Ziaur Rehman briefed him about the damage caused by floods and relief and rehabilitation activities in the district. Labour minister Shaukat Yousafzai was also present on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2022