PM orders rapid dewatering of flooded areas

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Says country grapples with disease outbreak

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday warned of a perilous outbreak of water and vector-borne diseases while ordering the rapid dewatering of the flooded areas during his visit to Balochistan’s Sohbatpur district.

“Infectious diseases are spreading in the flood-affected areas. Controlling the outbreak is crucial,” the premier said. PM Shehbaz cautioned that dealing with disease outbreak will become difficult if measures to limit the spread are not taken.

Appropriate steps should be taken for dewatering with the help of additional machinery and resources, he stressed.

Balochistan chief secretary, while briefing the prime minister on the ongoing efforts to deal with flood-related damages, said that 128 roads in the province were dilapidated, out of which 91 have been restored. He further stated that a plan of Rs11 billion has been worked out for livestock rehabilitation.

PM Shehbaz Sharif also ordered the district administration to immediately resolve the drinking water problems in Sohbatpur.

He directed the authorities concerned to ensure the availability of drinking water and life-saving medicines on priority in Sohbatpur’s area of Balochistan, severely damaged by floods.

The prime minister reviewed the relief arrangements and later addressed the flood victims in the area.

While addressing the flood affectees, PM Shehbaz Sharif announced a two-month waiver of water utility charges for the consumers residing in flood-affected areas all over the country.

He said the government would not charge the consumers in the flood-hit areas for the bills of August and September. The prime minister said the waiver on water utility charges was aimed at facilitating the people heavily burdened by the challenges in the wake of the flood.

He also announced continuation of the government’s facility in September to waive off Fuel Adjustment Charges for electricity consumers across the country on usage up to 300 units.

The premier further stated that the facility would be extended beyond the flood-relief areas, benefitting around 210 million consumers in the country. Moreover, he said a mechanism would be established to revive the crops of wheat and cotton in the flood-affected areas.

He said 24 billion rupees cash assistance has so far been disbursed through Benazir Income Support Programme among the flood-affected families.

Shehbaz Sharif said floods have damaged the power transmission system, roads infrastructure and internet.

Earlier, during the briefing, the Prime Minister also directed to expedite process for drainage of water in flood-affected areas besides restoration of basic infrastructure.

In view of the scarcity of drinking water in Sohbatpur, he said, two trucks carrying bottled water would reach in the area by tonight (Wednesday) while 10 tonnes of the commodity would be available in the next two days.

He said that the coalition government along with the provincial government was making utmost efforts to provide relief to the people in flood-hit areas.

Serving the masses, he said, was the noblest deed “instead of indulging in politicking as done by some leaders” even in the grave flood situation.

PM Shehbaz directs to expedite flood relief operations

He instructed the authorities to not halt their relief work, no matter how much funds they needed for the rehabilitation of the flood affectees.

“You have enough funds, if you need more, just let us know. But don’t be sluggish in the relief efforts,” he added.

PM Shehbaz also announced that the tents donated by Turkiye would be distributed among Balochistan flood affectees. He said that 5 million mosquito nets had already been distributed among the flood victims.

Meanwhile, Balochistan MNA Saleem Khosa complained that Chief Minister Abdul Qudus Bizenjo is “not attentive” towards Sohbatpur.

“There is no arrangement for dewatering the land in this area,” he claimed.

 

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