Punjab government responded to the situation and immediately took all necessary measures on a war footing
LAHORE: Since times immemorial, man has been endeavouring for survival in all sorts of adversarial conditions. He strives to adapt himself to his environment but, unfortunately, finds himself helpless in his fight against Mother Nature. Natural calamities and disasters, like earthquakes and floods, have been hitting underdeveloped countries like Pakistan more frequently in the recent past. Over the past many years, earthquakes have resulted in great humanitarian crises and put millions of people at risk of widespread malnutrition.
As in previous years, once again, a massive earthquake jolted several parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. The instant nature of this earthquake took everyone by surprise. The death toll may substantially rise as reports of damages from remote areas pour in with the Pakistan Meteorological Department warning that the series of aftershocks will continue until the next week or two.
In the wake of the crisis, the government immediately launched a swift rescue and relief operation. Leading from the front, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed and monitored the relief efforts on the ground. To kick-start the process of recovery, the prime minister has also announced a comprehensive relief package for earthquake victims, which is a welcome step. According to the package, a compensation of Rs600,000 will be given to the families of each deceased, Rs100,000 for each injured, Rs200,000 to families of physically disabled, Rs200,000 for home reconstruction and Rs100,000 for partial home reconstruction. The Punjab government also responded to the situation and immediately took all necessary measures on a war footing to cope with the unexpected situation. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also immediately visited earthquake affected areas in the province and announced Rs500,000 to the family of each deceased and Rs100,000 for each injured. The chief minister also directed the authorities concerned and relevant departments to speed up relief work for earthquake affected people. Along with the government, a relief and rescue operation by the Pakistan Army and other civil organisations is also underway in the affected areas. Since the development of infrastructure, provisions for shelter, health care and other basic necessities have always been the priority of the government, it is paying special attention to the rehabilitation of the earthquake affectees in a timely and transparent manner.
Syed Ali Qasim
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2015.
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