LAHORE: As the government estimates put the destruction of the standing crops at around 900,000 acres by floods in south Punjab, it has launched a detailed survey to assess the loss of lives and properties, besides the direct or indirect impact of the calamity on the people.
It has already exempted all flood-hit areas from the collection of Abiana and Maalia (per acre taxes on crops and irrigation water).
“Around 900,000 acres of land have been affected by the massive floods and rains in various districts of south Punjab, while 40 people have been killed during the calamity. Another 37 people have been killed due to collapsing of houses,” Punjab Local Government & Community Development Department Minister Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed told reporters at a press conference here on Friday.
“141 people were seriously injured, while 2009 others suffered minor injuries[during the floods],” he added.
Minister says calamity also claimed 40 lives in the region
Similarly, the minister said 390 cattle heads (buffaloes, cows, camel etc) and 1,136 goats, sheep etc were also affected by the floods in southern Punjab.
Talking about the relief package, Rasheed said the government has approved Rs1 million for the families of each deceased person and Rs300,000 for each injured person.
A survey of the flood-affected area is also being conducted and after its completion, the distribution of relief money would be started among the victims.
The minister claimed the local government department had started preparations for the flood since February this year. The government, he said, made available 235 de-watering sets, 122 tractor-trolleys, 13 sucker machines, 41 generators and 52 temporary disposal stations for the DG Khan division.
He said most departments were engaged in the relief activities. “From secretaries of union council to the highest rank officers are personally supervising the flood relief operations in all affected areas,” he claimed. Even prayer leaders of mosques, NGOs and public representatives have been included in the relief committees, he added.
The said every penny of the relief money would be transparently delivered to the flood-hit.
He said after the floodwaters receded, the rehabilitation work would begin in the affected areas. “First of all, we will start constructing of roads, bridges, passages and other infrastructure damaged by the flood and relevant departments have been assigned the task in this regard,” he said, adding that he would visit the flood-affected areas again and review the ongoing rehabilitation process.
“Today, 10 trucks of relief goods were also sent to the flood-affected areas, while 1,000 gas stoves will be distributed among the affected people soon. Moreover, used clothes are also being sent to the affected areas,” the minister said.
Talking to Dawn, the minister said: “During my last visit to flood hit areas, various elected representatives attending a meeting had termed the official figures related to relief activities as fake. I chided the district administration and the DG Khan commissioner was transferred, ” he explained.
The minister said the most affected areas included Taunsa and Jampur tehsils in Rajanpur and DG Khan districts, besides parts of Layyah.
Meanwhile, the Punjab revenue minister Nawabzada Mansoor Ahmad Khan, in a meeting on Friday, said the affected areas in Punjab had been declared calamity-hit.
“The areas that have been declared calamity-hit include Rajanpur, Raunsa, Dera Ghazi Khan and Eisa Khel. An emergency has also been imposed in these areas,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by the Board Of Revenue’s senior member and other officers concerned.
Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022