PM orders strict action over unavailability of food to flood victims

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DNA

QILA SAIFULLAH, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday ordered strict action against the provincial administration over negligence in ensuring the availability of food and drinking water at the tent city set up to accommodate the flood-affected people.

The prime minister issued the directive during his visit to the tent city in the Khusnob area of Qila Saifullah district, saying that negligence over relief and rescue operations would not be tolerated.

Talking to journalists, PM Sharif expressed regret over the plight of displaced persons who faced unavailability of edible items at relief camps and were left with no other option but to travel back to their homes to get food.

He said loopholes had been identified regarding the lack of a record-keeping system at the medical relief system at camps and stressed addressing the issue at the earliest.

He expressed grief over the death of eight children at the relief camps and extended condolences to their families over their loss.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to ensure the disbursement of compensation money to the flood-affected people of Balochistan within 24 hours.

He said residents of partially or completely damaged houses would be given similar compensation of Rs 500,000.

He mentioned that torrential rains led to heavy loss of lives and infrastructure in Balochistan, for which the federal government was determined to extend every possible assistance to the provincial government.

He asked the National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to pace up relief and rescue operations to best facilitate the victims and conduct a joint survey of damaged houses and crops.

Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said though the provincial government had ensured the availability of food rations for one month for the tent city, however, said, an inquiry would be conducted to find out the case of unavailability of food and water at the relief camps.

He said the District Commissioner of any flood-affected area, where negligence was reported, would be suspended immediately.

Federal Minister for Housing Maulana Abdul Wasay said the government would make every effort to rehabilitate the displaced people due to floods.

Chief Secretary Balochistan Abdul Aziz Aqeeli and Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Akhtar Nawaz briefed the prime minister about the damage incurred by torrential rains in Balochistan.

It was informed that four camps with medical facilities had been set up for flood-affected people and a tube well system in the area was functioning with solar energy to meet the water needs.

It was highlighted that in 30 years, Balochistan witnessed an average of 500 percent more rains after the pre-monsoon spell commenced on June 13.

The briefing told that so far, 136 deaths had been reported with 70 injured. As many as 1,100 persons received minor injuries and were given first-aid. Around 200,000 acres of agricultural land were inundated while 20,500 people were shifted to safe places. Also, the connectivity of Motorway M-8 and the Quetta-Karachi national highway was restored.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in the provincial capital of Balochistan on a day-long visit to oversee relief operations in the flood-affected areas.

Federal Ministers Sardar Israr Tareen, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Maulana Abdul Wasay, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Minister of State Muhammad Hashim Notezai, Member of National Assembly Salahuddin Ayubi, and Chairman NDMA accompanied the prime minister.