PM enhances flood relief cash to Rs50,000

Muhammad Anis & News Desk
August 16, 2022

The Relief Coordination Committee was constituted for the flood-affected areas

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif presiding meeting of Relief Coordination Committee.—PID

ISLAMABAD/QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed authorities concerned to ensure distribution of Rs50,000 instead of Rs30,000 relief to each flood affected family in the flood-hit areas through a transparent process within three days.

Presiding over a meeting of Relief Coordination Committee, the prime minister said Rs50,000 relief to every flood-affected family would be provided by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) under the supervision of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The Relief Coordination Committee was constituted for the flood-affected areas. The meeting was attended by federal ministers Miftah Ismail, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyam Aurangzeb, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Maulana Asad Mehmood, Adviser to PM Qamar Zaman Kaira, NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz and relevant senior officials.

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Minister for Housing Maulana Abdul Wasay, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and MPA Sanaullah Baloch also attended the meeting through video-link. The prime minister further said that the disbursement of cash relief should be ensured through electronic transfer so that the deserving people get relief and directed for immediate presentation of committee’s report.

The prime minister said that the joint survey by NDMA in coordination with the provincial governments for the assessment of flood-related losses should be completed in three weeks instead of five weeks.

The prime minister said that it is the provincial governments’ option to become part of the federal government’s flood-relief efforts. The federal government will ensure the relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people through its own resources.

He also directed the minister for Information and Broadcasting to formulate a comprehensive awareness campaign in that regard.

The meeting was told that a survey will be conducted in coordination with the provincial governments to assess the damages caused by the recent spell of rains and floods.

The meeting was informed that by the time survey was completed, the government, through BISP, will provide Rs30,000 cash relief to each flood-affected family.

The prime minister, however, directed to enhance the cash relief to Rs50,000 for each affected family and disburse the same under the supervision of NDMA.

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

The fresh spell of heavy rains, meanwhile, further aggravated the misery of people in Balochistan as 10 more people were killed during the last three days, while infrastructure, including houses, roads and bridges were wrecked.

The rain-hit infrastructure badly affected the traffic movements at the Kohlu-Quetta National Highway. Besides this, an event related to Independence Day was also postponed due to extreme weather conditions.

As many as 200 houses were damaged in Qila Abdullah due to flash floods, while most link roads and bridges were washed away.

In addition, two people drowned in flash floods in Toba Achakzai, while the lower areas were submerged in Barkhan, Rakhni, Dera Bugti, Sheerani, Koh-e-Sulieman, Ziarat and Qila Saifullah.

Besides this, the areas of Maidani and Pachad are also at risk of submerging amid high flow in the riverbeds after heavy rains in Chaman and the mountain terrain of Koh-e-Sulieman.

The ongoing monsoon rains continued to wreak havoc in Balochistan, with flash-floods in Qila Abdullah and several other areas, devastating the homes of thousands of people and killing hundreds. Three dams have washed away and many link roads have been destroyed in Qila Abdullah.

The woes of Balochistan are far from ending as the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) forecast more rains not only in the province, but also in Sindh and South Punjab.

The Met Office, in a statement, said that depression has developed in Arabian Sea which is likely to move towards the west along the Makran coast.

Owing to this weather system, monsoon currents are continuously penetrating in southern parts of the country. Another low pressure is likely to approach Sindh on 16th August.

Under the influence of this weather system, widespread rain-wind/thundershowers — with scattered heavy to very heavy falls — are expected in Sindh and Balochistan from August 16-18 with occasional gaps.

It warned that flash flooding is expected in Qilla Saifullah, Loralai, Barkhan, Kohlu, Mosa Khel, Sherani, Sibbi, Bolan, Kalat, Khuzdar, and Lasbella, Awaran, Turbat, Panjgur, Pasni, Jiwani, Ormara, Gwadar from August 14-18.

The Met Office asked fishermen to remain more cautious from August 16-18. It also asked travelers and tourists to remain more cautious during the forecast period. “All the authorities concerned are advised to remain alert and take necessary precautionary measures during the forecast period,” the Meteorological Department said.

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