SC seeks report on 2005 earthquake victims’ rehabilitation


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday sought a report from a Mansehra district and sessions judge within the state of rehabilitation of 2005 earthquake victims.

A suo moto notice was taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar after Balakot residents approached the top court and claimed that the international donations received had not been used to rehabilitate quake victims.

A three-member bench, headed by the CJP also sought a report from the federal government on international donations and the utilisation.

Survivors of the devastating 2005 earthquake are still awaiting rehabilitation promises to be fulfilled by the government. Over 600,000 families were affected by the earthquake; an estimated 87,000 people were killed and as many severely injured. About 600,000 houses, 6,000 schools and 800 health facilities were affected.

According to data collected by January 2017 by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) – a dedicated institution established in 2005 for fast-tracking rehabilitation – shows that nearly half of the total 5,723 schools are yet to be rebuilt. Responding to the public frustration at the slow pace of rehabilitation, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government announced its decision to reconstruct 760 schools destroyed in the province.

A total of Rs3.7 billion was initially allocated, which was later increased to Rs8 billion in the 2014-15 budget. Till 2016-17, the total reported expenditure against the allocated budget line was Rs765.31 million.