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September 30, 2010

KP govt faces difficulties in issuance of Watan Cards


September 30, 2010

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is facing difficulties in issuance of Watan Cards to the flood-affected families as the National Database and Regulatory Authority (Nadra) and the United Bank Limited have focused their attention on Punjab and Sindh, official sources said here Wednesday.
The sources told The News that even after inauguration of the registration point for the Watan Cards in the worst-hit Nowshera district, the provincial authorities engaged with the project were facing difficulties in the issuance of the smart cards in other districts as they were not availing the facility of the Nationwide Database Warehouse (NDW) of the Nadra because the system was mainly focused on issuance of the cards in Punjab and Sindh.
Only one registration point set up by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Nowshera has started issuance of the cards while the NDW of Nadra is not presently backing the card issuance points in other districts.
In Nowshera, 40,064 families are eligible for the Watan Cards as the flood affected 27 out of the 47 union councils damaging 11,153 houses completely and 28,911 partially. The sources said the Nadra until now had provided the data of only one of the 17 flood-affected districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the provincial authorities had no Nadra verified list of the affected people eligible for Rs20,000 compensation in other districts wrecked by the calamity.
A Watan Card is issued to each affected household to initially get Rs20,000 compensation for the damaged houses while they would also use the card for withdrawal of the compensation later.
The sources said the United Bank Limited (UBL) has also informed the provincial authorities that the bank was short of the ATM cards and could not cater to the needs of all eligible families at one time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The sources said the authorities were told that the UBL was having a very limited number of the ATM cards for the province

and that this would affect the timely issuance of the Watan Cards to the affected families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The sources also said that the provincial finance ministry had released one billion rupees to the federal government two weeks ago and the amount had already been transferred to the UBL as the share of the province for compensating the flood victims.
The provincial and federal governments will each pay Rs10,000 of the compensation amount to an eligible affected family in the province. The sources claimed the entire relief and rehabilitation machinery had shifted its focus to Sindh and Punjab on the directives of politically influential figures in the government.
They claimed that most of the UN agencies supposed to work across the flood-affected provinces were mainly holding their cluster meetings in Multan, the hometown of the prime minister.
The sources said unlike Khyber Pakhtunkhwa no prior survey and damage assessment was conducted in Punjab and Sindh, but even then both the provinces were getting preference in the distribution of the Watan Cards. Nadra Khyber Pakhtunkhwa General Manager Mir Alam Khan could not be approached for his comments despite repeated attempts as his cell phone was switched off.

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