Report Alhaj Muhammad Khan
CHITRAL, July 22: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here announced Rs500 million for the ongoing relief work in the flood-affected areas of Chitral.
During a meeting at the Chitral Scouts headquarters, he said the owners of completely damaged houses would be paid Rs0.5 million (five lacs) each while monetary assistance for those whose houses were partially damaged would be estimated and fixed later. The prime minister said an equal amount of funds, ie Rs500 million, would be given by the KP government for the relief activities, including the restoration of daaged roads and bridges. He also directed the authorities concerned to assess the damages caused by the floods in the valley.
KURAGH: Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Kuragh and met the local people there. Addressing them, he said as the provincial government had already declared Chitral a calamity-hit district and announced an emergency after the devastating flash floods, all agricultural loans amounting to less than Rs500,000 (five lac) taken by the local people from any bank would be waived. The prime minister laded near the Govt Degree College Booni and reached Kuragh by road.
He said he had come to Chitral not only to assess the destruction from the floods but also to meet the local people. He appreciated the local government departments and other agencies for launching the relief activities. The prime minister said work on the restoration of the damaged roads and electricity and water supply networks had already been started. He said power supply from the Reshun powerhouse would be restored within a week. He also said that more branches of utility stores would be opened in Chitral to ensure the supply of subsidized items to the people.
He said that the federal government had allocated 300 crores of rupees for the under-construction Lowari tunnel in the current fiscal year and more funds would be set aside on the basis of the need to complete the mega project before December 2016.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said he had come to Chitral to personally monitor the relief activities and would stay in the district for three days. He said he would also make it sure that the funds allocated for the relief activities and restoring road and other infrastructures are spent judiciously and in a transparent manner.
MNA Iftikhar Uddin said that it was after 16 long years that a prime minister had come to visit Chitral. He said as an emergency has been declared in the district, poverty alleviation funds should be given to the SRSP and AKRSP for direct utilization on welfare projects. He also demanded that the agricultural loans in the calamity-hit Chitral should be waived with an immediate effect.
The MNA also said customs and immigration points should also be set up at Boroghil and Durah passes on the Afghan border which would create 10,000 jobs for the local youths.
MPAs Sardar Hussain and Saleem Khan thanked the prime minister for his visit of the flood-hit areas in upper and lower Chitral and also appreciated the army’s relief work in the valley.