PM sets up ministers committee to assess damages by rains

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Armed forces assist in rescue efforts, 111 perish in floods

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday set up a committee comprising federal ministers to assess the damage in areas affected by monsoon rains and floods across the country and directed it to submit its report in this regard by August 4.

Chairing a meeting to assess the damage during the recent rains and floods, the prime minister asked the committee to visit all the affected areas within the next four days.

In line with the recommendations, a comprehensive short, medium and long-term plan will be formulated. The prime minister directed to enhance the compensatory money to the affected persons from Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000.

The compensation for partially damaged houses will be increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 250,000 and for fully damaged structures from the existing Rs 50,000 to Rs 500,000, APP reported

The Inter-Services Public Relations, in a statement, said that two army aviation helicopters have been flown from Karachi to Othal, and Lasbella areas.

“These helicopters had attempted [to fly] during last 48 hours, but could not fly due to bad weather conditions. The helicopters will now shift stranded people to safer places and also transport necessary relief items,” it said.

Meanwhile, the spell of monsoon rains, which started on June 1, has wreaked havoc in Balochistan, killing over 100 people so far and pounding most parts of the province.

In a press conference, Balochistan Chief Secretary Abdul Azai Aqili on Thursday revealed that as many as 111 people have lost their lives so far as heavy downpour continues in the province.

Giving details of the widespread destructions, the chief secretary said that the rains completely tore down 6,077 houses and partially damaged more than 10,000 homes.

Aqili said that 16 dams sustained minor or major damages during the rains, while crops and gardens stretching over two acres of land were also harmed.

“The recent monsoon spell brought more than 500% [as compared to earlier] rain and also severely damaged 2,400 solar panels,” the chief secretary said.

He noted that 10 districts in Balochistan were affected due to the rains, but fortunately, the situation at the Kech river was under control. The province’s top official also mentioned that 650km of roads were damaged in the rains.

The route from Karachi to Quetta has been closed for heavy traffic, he said, urging people to refrain from unnecessary travel.

The chief secretary said that the Pakistan Army, Frontier Constabulary, and civil administration were conducting rescue operations, but damaged roads are hampering the efforts.

Aqili mentioned that 17,000 people have been rescued so far and rescue operations are underway to move 2,000 people to secure locations. The top official added that the leaves of all government employees have been cancelled in the wake of the disastrous rains.

During the presser, a National

 

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