LAHORE   -   Chairman Ministerial Disaster Management Committee, Provincial Minister for Cooperatives, Environmental Protection and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja Thursday confirmed 188 deaths as a result of rains and flash floods in the entire province.  “As many as 3,256 people were injured while 25, 315 houses were damaged” he said while addressing a press conference here. Basharat Raja told reporters that districts of Rajanpur, DG Khan and Mianwali were the worst affected. He said that over 0.6 million people were affected by the flood waters while more than 0.2 million cattle also perished. He informed the media that Punjab received a total of 364 mm of rain this year which was 85 percent more than normal. “Although pre-monsoon flood warnings and all necessary preparations were made by the concerned departments, however preparations did not prove to be effective against the unprecedented heavy rains”, he said. He further stated that 184 relief camps were established in the affected areas while a total of 33,478 tents, 4,400 bags of flour, 68,637 food hampers, over 3,000 pots and thousands of water bottles had been distributed in three tehsils of Rajanpur, four tehsils of DG Khan and one tehsil of Mianwali. He said the Punjab government immediately released Rs. 100 million to Deputy Commissioner DG Khan, Rs 80 million to DC Rajanpur and Rs 65 million to Deputy Commissioner Mianwali for the relief operations. Any additional funds required will be provided,  he stated. He said that overseas Pakistanis were leading in helping their brothers in their difficult times.

“During the telethon held a few days ago, on the call of Chairman Imran Khan, crores of donations were collected in a few minutes”, he said. Raja Basharat said that along with the government, welfare organizations were also actively involved in helping their affected brothers and sisters. “This is a national tragedy. The victims will not be left alone. We salute their courage and passion. Hopefully, we will come out of this difficult time in a better way”, he said.

The minister assured that every flood-affected family will be resettle in their homes soon as the the reconstruction work of the houses will start as soon as the water recedes. “Punjab government will leave no stone unturned to provide sufficient financial resources for affected people”.  The provincial minister said that Chief Minister Punjab Ch. Parvez Elahi himself was supervising all the relief activities. “Flood-affected areas have already been declared a calamity hit. At present, the relief work is in the final stages, then the most crucial phase of rehabilitation will begin”, he further told the media. Basharat Raja said that a relief package had been approved by the Chief Minister for the affected people. “Compensation of one million rupees will be given to the next of kin of each deceased person. Earlier, aid was not given for the construction of kacha houses, but this time the government will also provide aid for the reconstruction of kacha houses” he announced.