Maximum relief provided to flood victims, claims Iftikhar
PESHAWAR, July 30: Compared to rest of the country, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ensured a better response to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of last year`s floods in the province, claimed Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain here on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference on the first anniversary of the 2010 floods, the minister said that despite its limited resources the provincial government mobilised support from the federal government, international donors and the military to extend maximum relief to the victims of the natural calamity.
“It is unfortunate that the media reports undermine the government`s efforts and suggest as if the government has done nothing to help out the flood-hit people,” Mr Hussain lamented, saying “this is not true.”
He said that the flashfloods affected four million people in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and inflicted financial losses to public and private property to the tune of $2.5 billion. Against these losses, the government spent almost Rs11 billion on relief activities, which included cash compensation for households.
As many as 1,070 people died, while 1,056 received injuries and the government distributed cash compensation of Rs426 million through the respective district coordination officers to the families of dead and injured people.
Likewise, Watan Cards were issued throughout the province on the basis of housing survey completed by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) by the end of September 2010. Of the total 290,552 cases of flood-affected people the Nadra has verified 281,851 cases of which 272,149 cards have been issued to the beneficiaries.
The provincial government has disbursed about Rs6 billion as first tranche of housing compensation at the rate of Rs20,000 per family through Watan Cards. For the second tranche of Rs40,000, a strategy is being finalised at the national level, , he said.
Moreover, the minister also said that the government had spent Rs4 billion on relief activities through the DCOs and commissioners.
The provincial government, he said, had been able to successfully complete the relief phase and that could be judged from the fact that all the bridges in Swat region were destroyed in the floods, but the government managed to restore access to these areas.
For the current monsoon season, the provincial government had worked out a contingency plan that envisaged relief coverage for expected 0.2 million households. In this regard, he said Rs700 million funds had been released to the DCOs for possible emergency works.
Commenting on judiciary-executive relations, Mr Hussain said that the institutions should respect each other within the constitutional parameters. He said that situation at the federal level had improved, as the chances of a head on collusion between these two pillars had been avoided.
“Some political parties may want to use such type of a situation to their credit, but they cannot succeed because we know how to play our cards,” said the minister while answering a question.