LAHORE - Chairman Cabinet Committee on Flood Relief & Provincial Minister for Environment Col (r) Shuja Khanzada has said that an amount of Rs15 billion will be distributed among 0.6 million flood affectees at the rate of Rs25,000 per family.

Briefing the media at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday, Khanzada said that the process of distribution of cheques for financial assistance would be started from September 29 and completed before Eid-ul-Azha. He said that the lists of heads of affected families had been prepared with the cooperation of Nadra and its notification was being issued.

Punjab government spokesman Zaeem Qadri, Relief Commissioner Nadeem Ashraf, Secretary Irrigation and officers of other departments were present on the occasion.

Shuja Khanzada, on behalf of the Punjab government, also thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for giving 50 percent of financial assistance for flood affectees.

The provincial minister told that 173 centers had been set up at union council level for distribution of cheques among flood affectees through Punjab Bank. He told that three-member monitoring committees had been constituted at district level for monitoring of the process. He said that a retired judge would be heading the committee, while a representative each of Commissioner and DCO offices would be included in it. Similarly, a one-man Committee had been constituted for redressing the complaints of flood affectees, he added.

Khanzada said that besides a helpline 1129, another helpline 8800 was set up for auto reply, upon which, head of affected family could confirm his name by writing his CNIC number. He further told that announcements would also be made in mosques on loud speakers five times a day.

Zaeem Qadri briefed the media that 281 persons died due to rains and flood, out of which, cheques for Rs1.6m each have been distributed among the heirs of 220 persons whereas payment would soon be made to the remaining families. He told that floods had caused loss of 15 billion rupees to infrastructure and on the direction of the Punjab chief minister, construction work of roads, schools, hospitals and buildings of other departments would be starting soon. The Irrigation secretary told the media that 70 thousand acres land was still inundated and the water could not be drained out naturally from seven thousand acres land. He told that besides using dewatering pumps, temporary drain was also being constructed for the drainage of water from those areas. He told that the floodwater would be drained out within three days and the land would be made cultivable.