Lack of funds hampers reconstruction in quake-hit areas

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ISLAMABAD: Rehabilitation and reconstruction projects started in the wake of the 2005 earthquake have not been completed yet because of shortage of funds.

This was said by an official of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan held at the Parliament House on Monday with Malik Ibrar in the chair

The Erra representative said that 68 per cent of projects had been completed and handed over to the relevant authorities. The rest of the projects had been delayed because of non-availability of funds, he added.

The earthquake left over 73,000 people dead and 128,304 injured, besides razing to ground 600,000 houses and 5,808 educational institutions. The material losses were worth an estimated Rs125.2 billion.

The committee recommended to the Finance Division to immediately release the needed funds to Erra for an early restoration of quake-devastated areas. The committee noted that since most of the funds came from international donors, it was necessary to spend them on rehabilitation and reconstruction works without fail.

MNAs Tahir Iqbal, Mian Imtiaz Ahmad and Molvi Agha Mohammad and senior officials from the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2015

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