National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal Tuesday said around 95 percent survey of the damaged houses has been completed where the earthquake victims will get compensation money by the next week. Talking to media, he said the survey was almost complete where the remaining would be completed in 5-6 days. The survey took time as the Authority had arranged it in a way to ensure transparency in the process and also to avoid audit anomalies, he added.
To a question, he said the Federal cabinet had decided to subsume Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) in NDMA. ‘Nobody is going to be laid off during the subsuming process rather the staff would be accommodated in the new departments to be settled under ERRA,’ he added. Chairman NDMA informed the media that POF WAH and Pakistan Army Engineering Corps had been contacted to conduct control blasting for demolishing the damaged buildings in the city through a controlled process.
‘It is a global practice to avoid damage to other buildings as no machinery is used to knock down building structures,’ he said. The Chairman also assured full cooperation and assistance to the earthquake victims on behalf of the governments of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider Khan has said that over 5,500 rehabilitation and reconstruction projects have been completed after devastating earthquake 2005 while 39 billion rupees are required to complete over 2,000 pending projects. He was talking to media person after attending main prayer ceremony in connection with 14th anniversary of earthquake 2005 at Azad Jammu and Kashmir University here on Tuesday.
‘We are grateful to world community that wholeheartedly helped the quake victims in rescue, relief, rehabilitation and later reconstruction phase’, PM said. While paying rich tribute to the Pakistani nation for extending invaluable support to the quake victims, the Prime Minister said their sacrifices are golden chapter in our history. ‘We can never forget their sincerity, love and generosity while helping the earthquake affected people of Azad Kashmir’, he added.
Raja Farooq Haider said that capital of Azad Kashmir, Muzaffarabad had virtually become the global village after the calamity and rescue workers and relief organization all over the world came and helped the victims. He told that that there are some projects pending in the affected areas of earthquake 2005 due to the unavailability of funds. ‘We told federal government that AJK government couldn’t complete these projects in due to limited budget’, he added. The Prime Minister hoped that government of Pakistan will provide funds for the completion of reconstruction program particularly in education and health sectors.