Flood victims miserable despite Punjab govt relief claims

* PDMA says 88,143 dry ration bags, 36,000 rice bags, 37,000 flour bags, 15,000 blankets, 7,319 tents, 45,000 mineral water bottles sent
By Tariq Farid

LAHORE: Despite Punjab government’s claim that relief goods are being regularly supplied to flood victims, the flood-hit southern Punjab, especially Rahim Yar Khan district, continues to live in misery.
Widespread rains and floods have wreaked havoc in the southern Punjab districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Ranjanpur and Rahim Yar Khan.
Floods triggered by monsoon rains in these areas have led to widespread destruction, devastation and despair. Rainwater has flooded streets and many houses have collapsed. Dozens of people have been killed due to electric shocks and roof collapses. Flood victims from Rahim Yar Khan district contacted Daily Times, saying that they were living in despair for the last two weeks. They criticised the government for not taking care of them.
Local MPA Mian Shafi Muhammad said that rainwater had inundated several villages in Tehsil Khanpur where crops had been destroyed, houses had collapsed and power supply was disrupted.
He said no government official or member of the ruling party had visited the area. “No relief items have been supplied here so far nor have rescue teams been sent to save the people, their livestock and households. Abiana for flood-hit farmers was not waived and no aid was given to the victims,” he said. Flood victims demanded the government to immediately come forward and save them from further irreparable losses. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Mujahid Sherdil said that relief items were being regularly supplied to flood victims in DG Khan and Ranjanpur, adding that 2,280 metric tonnes of edibles had been provided to the calamity-stricken people. He said that 88,143 bags of dry ration, 36,000 bags of rice, 37,000 flour bags, 15,000 blankets, 7,319 tents and 45,000 mineral water bottles had been sent through 285 trucks, at 40 flood relief camps. He said relief items were also being supplied by divisional and district administrations.
Opposition parties in the province have criticised the Punjab government for not issuing a flood warning to the people who were caught off guard as water entered their homes. Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Zaheeruddin said the floods had caused such huge losses due to the inefficiency of Punjab government. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said funds worth Rs 6 billion had been allocated for monsoon rains, which are known to come around the same time every year, and yet the Punjab government had failed to control damages. All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Information Secretary Aasia Ishaque said that failure to prevent floodwater from entering DG Khan reflected the inefficiency of the Punjab government.
Source: Daily Times

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