Sindh cabinet estimates Rs 446bn losses -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Sindh cabinet estimates Rs 446bn losses

By Razzak Abro

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet has given approval of figure about the estimated losses of Rs 446.8 billion the province has faced due to the current floods, which would be presented at a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) scheduled to be held in Islamabad on Monday.

The special meeting chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah was held at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House Saturday evening. The cabinet members were briefed about the current flood situation and the devastation caused by it.

Advisers to CM Jamil Soomro and Qaiser Bengali said the estimate was of losses up to August 27, and the actual losses could exceed Rs 500 billion.

Responding to a question, Soomro said the Sindh government would not accept the figures of losses in the province collected or assessed by the Federal Flood Commission, as assessment of damages was not its responsibility.

He strongly denied allegations being levelled by “opponents of the government that breaches in embankments were made to save areas and lands of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders”.

He said that the worst affected districts of the province were all PPP strongholds, adding that Hazar Khan Bijarani’s house, Mir Hassan Khoso and Dr Suhrab Sarki’s villages, and Nadir Magsi and Abid Jatoi’s agricultural lands were also inundated.

Despite this, the CM has said at the cabinet meeting that the government would constitute a judicial commission to ascertain causes behind cuts made in the river embankments, Soomro said. He said these things could be done after the rescue and relief work.

Bengali said Jacobabad and Ghotki are the worst affected districts. He said international organisations were also conducting damage assessments.

He said the cabinet decided to immediately provide Rs 5,000 per family to all displaced people.

Soomro said the compensation amount would be given through banks after proper registration and verification. He said that until August 27, some seven million people were displaced out of whom 1.3 million people took shelter at 3,000 relief camps set up by the government, adding the Sindh government gave Rs 10 billion to different flood-affected districts.

The province was still going through the catastrophe and after vacating Khairpur Nathan Shah, the people in Mehar town have also been given a final warning for evacuation, he said.
Source: Daily Times
Date:9/5/2010