Pakistan: Monitoring of quake relief ordered

Report
from DAWN Group of Newspapers
Published on 19 Nov 2008 View Original
ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: Acting President Dr Fehmida Mirza ordered on Wednesday to expand the ambit of the special oversight committee for displaced persons of Bajaur tribal areas to the quake-hit areas after irregularities were found in distribution of relief goods.

Presiding over a meeting of the committee, she said that relief operation in the quake-affected areas of Balochistan must be monitored.

The meeting was reportedly informed that relief goods in adequate quantities had been sent from the centre but people were still complaining about non-availability of relief items.

"There are reports in the media that relief goods sent for the displaced families have been sold in markets in Quetta," Ms Ishrat Ashraf of the PML-N, a member of the committee, told the meeting.

The committee was informed that 3,500 winter tents had been sent so far.

Senior member of the National Disaster Management Authority Shaukat Nawaz Tahir gave a detailed briefing and said that the quake death toll stood at 163; 175 people were injured and 710 houses were destroyed. About 800 families had been affected and 7,000 to 10,000 people of 218 villages had been displaced, he said.

NA Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Minister for Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Shah and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira also attended the briefing.

The acting president said only proactive approach could help in reducing the impact of disasters.

She directed the authorities concerned to provide boarding and education facilities to the orphaned children from the Rs5 million generated by NA speaker's fund.

The meeting was informed that manpower and other resources were employed from the military and the civil armed forces and rescue teams comprised army and Frontier Corps troops. Army aviation helicopters and army medical corps have been engaged in the relief operation.

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