- PM Shehbaz says ensure provision of rations to affectees.
- Rain-related death toll in Balochistan reaches 136.
- 13,535 houses partially damaged; 3,406 completely destroyed.
QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday directed authorities to provide relief amounts to flood and rain affectees after heavy downpours wreaked havoc and hampered relief efforts in Balochistan.
In the latest statistics, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Balochistan, said that among the 136 deceased, 56 were men, 47 children, and 33 women, while 70 people have been injured.
The PDMA’s report showed that the rains damaged 13,535 houses and completely destroyed 3,406 homes, and the heavy downpour also inflicted damage to 16 bridges and 640 kilometres of roads.
Over 20,000 cattle have been killed in the flash floods, eight dam embankments have been damaged, and crops on 198,000-acre land have been destroyed.
PM Shehbaz, while speaking to journalists during his visit to a tent village in the Khusnoob area of Qilla Saifullah, said the federal and provincial governments would undertake joint efforts for the relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected people.
The prime minister — who visited Balochistan for the second time in three days — said that he has directed the authorities to ensure that the relief amount — Rs1 million — is provided to the heirs of those who lost their loved ones in the calamity within the next 24 hours.
Apart from the federal government’s one million rupees, the Balochistan government will also extend the same compensation to the bereaved families, he said.
PM Shehbaz noted that financial assistance will also be provided to the injured. He said Rs500,000 would be provided to those whose houses were completely destroyed, while the assistance of Rs200,000 would be given for the partially damaged houses.
PM Shehbaz said a joint survey would also be conducted to assess the damages caused by the floods to crops, livestock, and infrastructure. He assured that compensation would also be given to the people who lost their crops and livestock whilst infrastructure damaged by the floods would also be repaired.
The prime minister also took serious notice of the non-provision of rations in the tent village. He directed the authorities concerned to ensure the provision of rations and water to the flood-affected people.
‘Rescue takes time’
In conversation with Geo News, Balochistan Government Spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah said that storms also hit the United States, and the province is no exception, adding that “rescue operations take time”.
The spokesperson said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has visited Balochistan and the provincial government is in contact with the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the authorities seek to provide relief to the people.
In the coming months, Shah said the government will devise a long-term plan for dealing with rains. “We are rallying the non-government organisations (NGOs) and will not abandon the people.”
She added that the rescue operations have been completed to a large extent, while relief operations are underway. The spokesperson claimed that till the rescue and relief operations are underway, government officials’ salaries will be deposited to the relief fund.
Shah also said that the Karachi-Quetta road — which was heavily damaged due to the heavy rains — has finally been restored for traffic.
The situation of roads
On the other hand, Levies Force, in a statement, said that in the upper areas of Toba Achakzai and Toba Kakari, links roads were damaged and commuters are facing trouble.
The link roads of Kan Mehtarzai, Muslim Bagh, and Loi Band have not been restored, while internet, telephone, and electricity have still not been restored in several upper areas, the force said.
The statement said that the Quetta-Harnai Highway remains closed for the third day for all kinds of traffic at Chapper Rift in Ziarat’s limits after landsliding, while the restoration works have not been started there as of yet.
The provincial government, district administration, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, and Frontier Corps are engaged in rescue and relief operations.