Qaim orders rehabilitation of 58,000 flood-hit people

Source: Published in Politics on Friday, August 28, 2015

KARACHI: A day after the detention of Dr Asim Hussain — who being the head of the Sindh Higher Education Commission had the status of a provincial minister — in a raid by plain-clothes law enforcement officials, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah remained silent on the Karachi operation that he oversees and instead presided over a meeting at CM House on Thursday to review the relief and rehabilitation measures taken by the authorities concerned for flood affected people.

CM Shah directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Provincial Relief Department, and Sindh Zakat Council to jointly make efforts and utilise all available resources to ensure the continuation of the second phase of relief and rehabilitation of the remaining 58,000 flood affected people.

He also directed the officers concerned to help those people in their resettlement. “We would not leave them alone in their hour of trial,” he said.

The chief minister also noted that the water level in the river and flooded areas was receding swiftly, leaving behind the fertile land of katcha area where local people were eager to return in a hurry and start cultivation of their land.

He said that after full utilisation of budgetary allocation of Rs500 million, he had granted additional Rs284 million for the PDMA and provided the first installment of Rs142 million earlier and pledged that the remaining allocation of Rs142 million would be released shortly only to provide timely relief to the people affected by flood.

Mr Shah also asked the PDMA to strengthen, equip and ensure capacity building of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and extend its scope by including chairman of the District Zakat office (DZO) as a member of its district board in each district and Chairman of the Sindh Zakat Council and Provincial Secretary for Zakat as members of the DDMA and as members of the provincial Zakat board so that rescue and relief activities at the grassroots level could be ensured.

Expressing his satisfaction over the rescue and relief activities carried out by the PDMA, the chief minister directed its DG to make an inventory of the procured relief-related items and maintain a record of the items either used or distributed to the flood affected.

Referring to the proposals for acquiring low-cost dismantle-able and portable houses and creation of a combined calamity fund by the PDMA, Relief Dept and Zakat Council, Mr Shah asked the PDMA MD and the Zakat secretary to work out the proposals and present their recommendations at next meeting.

Earlier, briefing the meeting PDMA Director General Syed Salman Shah said that during the recent rains and flood, around 975,470 people had been evacuated from the katcha areas and dangerous houses. Over 264,000 people were accommodated in relief camps or on dykes, including 20,000 in Thatta, 11,000 Sujawal and 17,000 in Jamshoro.

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