UPPER DIR: Addressing a huge gathering in the quake-hit Panah Kot area here on Thursday, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the construction of new roads would open new avenues of progress and prosperity.
He announced an allocation of Rs50 billion for the construction of the Chakdara-Dir-Chitral Road and completion of the Lowari Tunnel to shorten travel distances with a view to facilitating the people.
Nawaz said the Rs50 billion was far more than was being spent in Rawalpindi, Lahore and other mega cities, as the government knew the importance of people living in far-off places and wanted to bring those areas on a par with the developed areas.
He directed the authorities concerned to ensure payment of compensation to affected people by November 25.
He said the government would also construct a 132 KVA grid station in the area to help it meet its growing electricity needs.
Nawaz said his government was striving to help end loadshedding and a number of short and long-term measures were being taken in this regard.
“Though compensation is no replacement for the precious lives lost, it’s just a token of assistance to help the bereaved families to bear their loss.”
The prime minister said he had directed mobilisation of the entire government machinery for rescue, relief and rehabilitation in the affected areas.
He said both the federal and provincial governments worked in complete unison to help the people confront this calamity.
The prime minister earlier handed over compensation cheques to the affected people. He assured his government’s full support to help them return to their normal lives and better living conditions.
Nawaz said immediately after the quake the government had mobilised all resources and directed the authorities to reach out to the affected people.
He said the first priority was relief efforts and to reach out to the injured while the second priority was their rehabilitation. “It’s the government’s priority that the damaged houses are constructed before the harsh winter sets in.”He offered Fateha for those who had lost their lives in the quake. The prime minister said his government was burning the midnight oil to help address the problems being faced by the masses. Referring to the locals’ demand for provision of natural gas to the region, he said the locally produced gas was not enough to meet the demand.
However, he assured that the gas would be provided to Upper Dir as soon as the country’s gas requirements from imports were met. Nawaz was earlier given a briefing on the extent of damages caused by the magnitude 8 quake that shook the area on Oct 26, killing 188 people in the province. He was briefed in detail about the earthquake relief and rehabilitation measures in Upper Dir.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily