Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana said on Sunday that reconstruction of damaged infrastructure in flood-hit Laswa village of Neelum Valley was being speedily completed. He said all available resources were being utilized to address problems of the victims on priority basis.
On July 15, the normally quiet stream running through the valley morphed into a raging current — uprooting everything in its path. Twenty-three people were missing, presumed dead by officials.
Seven others were injured, while 150 houses and businesses were destroyed and about 50 buildings damaged in the seven hamlets spread across Laswa.
The chief secretary spoke to flood affectees after presiding over a meeting of secretaries of different departments in the village on Sunday. The meeting reviewed relief and rehabilitation activities in the affected areas.
On this occasion, secretaries as well as representatives of NGOs briefed the meeting about their emergency response to the natural calamity, ongoing programs and overall performance of their respective organizations.
The chief secretary expressed satisfaction over the performance of departments and district administration. “Reconstruction of the damaged roads, electricity system, water supply, health units and other basic infrastructure should be completed as early as possible”, he directed.
Rana also directed the secretaries of concerned departments to complete paperwork of projects beyond their authority to be approved by the cabinet.
Speaking to the affectees, the chief secretary said a search operation was underway with the assistance of Pakistan Army to retrieve bodies of the victims.
“Excavators would be provided to remove debris of their houses”, he announced. “A comprehensive plan is being prepared to rehabilitate the affectees, while compensation will be given to them within a week.
“Moreover, Memorandums of Understanding are being signed with NGOs to finish development process and rehabilitate the affectees all together”, Rana said further.