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October 28, 2015

PDMA’s poor performance in dealing with quake-hit Shangla exposed

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October 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Some quick and direct questions by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during an official briefing badly exposed the performance of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Khyber Pakhtun-khwa (KP) which failed to provide relief material that had been handed over to it a day before to the affected people in the quake-hit Shangla district.
The sources privy to the official briefing given to the prime minister during his visit to the Shangla district confided to this correspondent that when an official was providing details about the disaster, the prime minister interrupted him and asked, “Has the relief material given to the PDMA on Monday reached the Shangla district?”
The official, who had been asked the question by the prime minister, hesitantly informed him that the relief material was still lying with the PDMA, and it was making arrangements to send it to Shangla, the sources said.
The sources said that the prime minister then turned towards KP Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan and said the relief material was handed over to the PDMA one day earlier and it should have reached Shangla on Tuesday.
They said that the prime minister then underlined the need for immediate efforts for the provision of relief material such as tents, blankets and food items to the affected people who have been enduring the effects of the disaster in extremely cold weather conditions.
The prime minister was then informed that over 200 relief and rescue workers were participating in the relief efforts in Shangla, and that all the blocked roads had been opened last night. However, settlements were spread all over the area, which was causing difficulty in relief efforts.
Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is working under their administrative control but PDMA of KP is being run by the provincial government. “The KP government is responsible for the performance and efficiency of PDMA but so far the Climate Change Ministry is actively participating

in the relief efforts through NDMA,” he said.
Talking to The News, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Naeemul Haq said the road network in the Shangla district had been badly damaged by the earthquake due to which the relief authorities are facing problems in the area. “PDMA is putting in its best efforts in coordination with the Pakistan Army and NDMA to provide maximum relief to the affected people. We are also taking measures to ensure the relief material reaches each and every affected person in the quake-hit areas including Shangla,” he said.
Naeemul Haq said that the KP government was making all out efforts with the help of the federal government to meet the challenges arising out of the natural disaster, adding “I hope the comments of the prime minister about performance of PDMA during the official briefing in Shangla had nothing to do with any political point scoring.”

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