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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee of federal ministers to determine the damages in rains, and flood-affected areas within the next four days so that short-term, mid-term, and long-term comprehensive plans in the light of the committee’s recommendations could be developed by 4th August.

While chairing a meeting to assess the damages during the recent rains and floods on Thursday, the PM also directed the committee to pay a visit to all the affected areas to assess the damages.

The prime minister further stated that climate change is a reality of the present era, the effects of which are causing havoc in the whole world including Pakistan. The federal government will fully support the provincial governments to deal with the effects of this natural disaster. He said that it is the government’s responsibility to help the affected people.

The prime minister issued further instructions that national and provincial disaster management authorities should ensure the implementation of disaster risk management strategy instead of disaster management.

Apart from this, relevant ministries and institutions should speed up their efforts to obtain financial support by establishing contact with international donor agencies.

The prime minister further said that the federal government will write a letter to the apex court to provide the funds available in the Supreme Court for the rehabilitation of the infrastructure affected by the recent rains and floods in Karachi.

The prime minister appreciated the relief activities of NDMA, PDMA and provincial governments during rains and floods.

Earlier, the meeting was informed in detail about the recent monsoon rains and flood situation that this year, Pakistan experienced four more than normal heat waves, heavy pre-monsoon and monsoon rains. Pre-monsoon rains increased by 67 percent compared to the average of last 30 years while monsoon rains increased by 193 percent.

The proportion of monsoon rains in Balochistan was 467 percent higher than the average of the last 30 years, while Sindh recorded 390 percent more.

The meeting was told that so far one person has died in Islamabad, 106 in Balochistan, 90 in Sindh, 69 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 76 in Punjab, eight in Gilgit-Baltistan, and six in Azad Kashmir, while the injured have been reported all over Pakistan is 406.

The meeting was also informed in detail about the affected roads, collapsed communication bridges and loss of houses.

The meeting was informed that relief operations are ongoing in the affected areas by the NDMA and related PDMAs.

Moreover, not only weather warnings were given regularly before the monsoon rains, but preparations were made in this regard from February. Apart from this, the provincial administration and the National Highway Authority are engaged in relief operations and infrastructure maintenance in the affected areas.

The meeting was further told in detail about the financial assistance to be distributed among the victims. The prime minister directed to increase the assistance for wounded and affected houses from Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000, and for partially affected houses from 25,000 to 250,000 and for completely affected houses from 50,000 to 500,000. Apart from this, the prime minister approved the provision of relief to the victims of the boat capsize in Rahim Yar Khan district.

The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers - Miftah Ismail, Maulana Asad Mehmood, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Sherry Rehman, Israr Tareen, Aminul Haq, Shazia Marri, Ahsan Iqbal, Maulana Abdul Wasi, Minister of State Mahmood Hashim Notizai, Special Assistants Ahad Cheema, Syed Fahad Hussain, members of the National Assembly were present in the meeting.

Khalid Hussain Magsi, Aslam Bhutani, Amin Haider Hoti, Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, Sardar Riaz Mohammad Mazari, Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi, Mohsin Dawar, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Kiso Mal Khel Das, Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz were also present.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudous Bazanjo and chief secretaries of the four provinces participated through video link.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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