PM assures homes destroyed by quake will be rebuilt before cold sets in

SWAT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sahirf distributing cheques among the affectees of the earthquake at Barikot. INP PHOTO

Sharif expresses satisfaction over relief, compensation efforts in Swat

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Tehsil Barikot on Saturday and expressed satisfaction over the pace of relief and compensation efforts in the earthquake affected areas of Swat.

Sharif went to Gumgot village of Tehsil Barikot to disburse the compensation amount among the residents of the areas which were affected due to the massive tremors on October 26.

The prime minister lauded the efforts of all stakeholders — including federal, provincial, district and local administration and the armed forces — for carrying out rescue and relief operations in areas which were badly affected in the natural disaster that jolted various parts of the country including Malakand division.

“We should thank Almighty Allah for saving the country from large scale destruction because the tremors were massive,” the premier said.

Sharif said he immediately met with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, the governor and his adviser Amir Muqam, in the aftermath of the calamity and called for prompt compensation for the affected populace of various areas in the province.

It was decided in the meeting that a compensation amount of Rs 0.2 million will be given to people whose homes were destroyed in the calamity, while Rs 0.1 million will be disbursed among people whose homes were damaged due to the quake.

The premier said it was agreed that the amount will be distributed swiftly so that the sufferings of the affected people could be mitigated.

“The KP government provided support while we also supplemented them with financial aid. Teams from civilian administration and the army reached there and evaluated the losses, so that the situation could be tackled in a better way,” he added.

“National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) also deserved accolades for distribution of blankets, medicines and potable water among the affected people in rough terrains.”

“The relief and compensation work should be completed before the setting of harsh winter in these areas,” the premier maintained.

The prime minister also announced the construction of Chakdara-Kalam road on the demand of Amir Muqam and residents of Barikot. He told the gathering that the quality of the newly constructed road would match that of the motorway.

He said the construction on Nawaz Sharif Hospital in Swat had started when he was an opposition leader, and asked Amir Muqam to gear up his efforts for making it fully functional.

Swat was a terrorism-infested area in the past but following a successful operation it got rid of this menace, the premier recalled, adding that the ongoing operation against the terrorism was successful.

District Coordination Officer Swat Mahmood Saleem apprised the Prime Minister that 6,058 cheques out of total 11,255 had been distributed among the people whose houses were completely or partially damaged during the quake.

He said that a total of 2,873 houses were completely destroyed while 8,382 partially bore the severity of tremors.

He assured that by November 17, all the affected people would get the compensation amount. Sharif lauded the district coordination officer for his efforts to distribute compensation cheques prior to the set deadline.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, KP Governor Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and other provincial authorities were also present during the ceremony.