Even though seventeen days have passed since a devastating earthquake wrecked havoc in northern parts of the country, the federal government has yet to release funds to compensate the affected population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Briefing media on the post-earthquake situation in Peshawar earlier today, the special assistant to the chief minister Mushtaq Ghani said the federal government had yet to release funds for the disaster-hit people in KP.
He said the provincial government had released Rs8.5 billion to the administration in the earthquake-affected districts for relief activities and compensation for the deceased’s families, the injured, and house damages.
“I hope the federal government will release funds in the next couple of days,” he said.
Ghani said Rs2.5 billion had so far been distributed among disaster victims and that the authorities had been directed to complete process of compensation by Nov 25.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced in Peshawar on Oct 28 that the federal government would pay half of the compensation money in KP.
The government is paying Rs200,000 for fully damaged and Rs100,000 for partially damaged houses each.
In addition, Rs600,000 each is being given to the families of the deceased, Rs200,000 each for those who suffered disability in the earthquake and Rs100,000 each for the injured people.
The 8.1 earthquake had killed 232 people, injured more than 1,500 people and damaged 93,000 houses, completely or partially.
Ghani said several fraud cases had been detected as people had made false claims of property damages.
He said 1,683 applications of damaged properties were rejected in Haripur district after verification.
The special assistant said bad weather had caused delay in verification of damaged properties in far-flung areas of the province.
He said relief and assessment teams faced problems to get access to the affected people living in high-altitude areas.
“Severe weather has affected pace of relief activities in mountainous areas,” he said.
About relief operations, Ghani said distribution of relief goods was underway and that 12 small and heavy helicopters of the army and National Disaster Management Authority were taking part in humanitarian activities.
The Provincial Disaster Management Authority has dispatched 27,118 tents, 29,424 blankets, 1,750 mattress, 19,000 tarpaulins and 4,511 flour bags to the affected districts.
The special assistant said the Oct 26 earthquake had damaged 562 schools in the province, including 234 in Upper Dir district, while more than 20,000 houses in Chitral and 17,431 in Shangla had suffered damages.
He said engineers would verify whether damaged buildings were fit for use.
According to the PDMA report, the provincial government has released Rs1.62 billion for Swat district, where 11,293 houses were damaged in the calamity, while Chitral, the most affected area in the province with 20,355 damaged houses, received Rs1.55 billion for relief and compensation.
Ghani denied partiality or discrimination in release of funds to districts.
He said the government would require more funds for compensation and relief activities.