Efforts on to clear KKH: NA informed

Army donates 5-truckload food; NDMA sends relief goods for GB landslide victims

Islamabad—Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Tuesday informed the National Assembly that Karakoram Highway (KKH) was still closed due to landsliding and efforts were being made to clear it. Responding to a calling attention notice raised by PPP’s Naveed Qamar regarding killing of hundred of citizens, collapse of houses and losses of standing crops due to heavy rainfall in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, he said before April earth-quake, the Frontier Works Organization has informed that KKH would be cleared in few days. However, some more landsliding reported after the earthquake, he added.
The minister clarified that the Met office had issued seven weather advisory to all provincial governments and relevant agencies for abnormal rains in March and April. He said that some 260 people had lost their lives and 220 sustained injuries in the recent rains and flash floods in KPK, GB and AJK, adding that 2670 houses were also damaged due to rain and floods, he added. Regarding assistance, the minister said that the government had provided 2657 tents, 7760 blankets, 1856 plastic mats and 47 tons rations in the affected areas. He said the provincial governments also contributed their share to the said relief package.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Commander 10 Corps Lieutenant General, Malik Zafar Iqbal Tuesday visited rain and landslide affected areas of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and presented donation of five truck-load of food items by Pakistan Army to the Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan.
A high level meeting to overview the losses occurred following recent heavy rains and landslides in the area was held at Gilgit, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) news update here stated. The meeting reviewed relief activities in detail. The moot attended by the provincial Chief Minister, Governor, Corps Commander, Chief Secretary GB, Commander FCNA and IG Police GB dicussed issues of food shortage, blockage of important road links including Karakoram highway and future strategy.
Commander 10 Corps assured full support and cooperation of Pak Army to CM Gilgit Baltistan and reiterated that Pak Army stands by people of Gilgit Baltistan in this hour of need.
According to an NDMA press release, the second C-130 sortie carrying 7.5 tons of ration (including lentils, sugar and Rice) would depart for the GB on Wednesday. The NDMA said more sorties carrying ration would be planned for the GB till the situation normalized there. The landslide occurred at multiple places at Karakoram Highway (KKH) disconnecting the GB from rest of the country.
The NDMA said it was continuously monitoring the situation and was in constant coordination with National Highway Authority and Frontier Works Organization to en-sure early opening of the blocked roads. It may be added that due to recent heavy raining in parts of northern areas and Gilgit Baltistan, National Highway Network, including N-15, N-35 (KKH), & S-1, was damaged due to landslides and mud flow. The NHA on its part has taken all necessary measures to ensure that repair works are immediately taken up.
N-15 (Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad-Chilas): Road from km 0 (Mansehra) to km 108 (Kaghan) is open for traffic, however, at few points its open one way. From km Kaghan (km 108) to Naran (km 127) snow and avalanche clearance is in progress.—APP

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