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Army relocating flood-hit people to safer places

Continues rescue, relief efforts in Balochistan, Punjab 8Punjab decides to allocate Rs20bn for rehabilitation

The Pakistan Army troops on Thursday continued their rescue and relief efforts in various flood-hit areas of Balochistan and Punjab, shifting the affected population and their belongings to safer places.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the troops were busy in relief activities in Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Naseerabad and Lasbela. The army medical teams were providing medical care to the affected people. Punjab Minister for Revenue Nawabzada Mansoor Ahmed Khan on Thursday said the provincial government had decided to allocate Rs20 billion funds for the rehabilitation of flood-affected areas.

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The minister, in a statement, said the Punjab government had declared flood-affected areas as “calamity hit”. Compensatory amount of Rs800,000 each was being given to the heirs of persons who died due to flood, he added. The minister said the government stood by the affectees and was providing maximum facilities in all the flood-hit areas. Rehabilitation and restoration of normal life in the affected areas was the top priority of the provincial government and all possible resources were being utilized for the purpose, he added.

Nawabzada Mansoor stated that medical camps have been set up in the inundated areas to provide free treatment, medicines, and vaccinations to the people. A survey would be completed soon to ascertain loss of crops and houses, after which the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and other departments would devise a comprehensive plan for initiating short and long term rehabilitation projects in the flood-hit areas, he added.

Commissioner DG Khan Muhammad Usman Anwar, in view of more rain forecast in the coming days, urged the people of Rajanpur and DG Khan districts to avoid entering floodwaters and shift to higher and safer places. Talking to affected people during his visit to the flood-hit areas of the division, the commissioner promised that every member of the families internally displaced due to floods would be shifted to their respective homes once the floodwaters were receded and damaged roads were cleared for traffic.

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He highlighted the importance of warnings issued from the administration from time to time pleading that torrential rains had broken all previous records and continuous flooding left little room for water absorption in soil. Even a smaller flood wave could prove damaging, he said while advising people not to enter the floodwaters to avert the risk of being swept away or other submerged hazards.

Taking notice of the blockade of inter-provincial highway near Rakhi Garj due to landsliding, the commissioner asked the political assistant of Koh-e-Suleman Authority to seek help from NHA and other departments for arranging heavy machinery needed to clear the debris and restoring traffic. He said that flood related losses were minimized due to timely action taken by the Punjab government, including declaration of emergency, better management, in-time announcements in sensitive areas, and timely rescue and relief operations.

He said that the Meteorological Department had issued a forecast of more rains and departments were on alert but “people should be careful, and follow all the precautionary and safety measures.” The commissioner said that ample food, sufficient for three meals a day, was being provided at the flood relief camps and flood hit areas.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Thursday directed the district administration of Dera Ismail Khan to carry out relief and rescue activities in calamity-hit areas on an emergency basis. The chief minister directed that rescue and relief activities should be started immediately in the affected areas to avoid further loss of life and property. He said that the maintenance of road infrastructure and other communication systems should also be done on a priority basis.



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