PESHAWAR - Expressing deep concern over the tragic incident of release of toxic material in a drain in Dera Ismail Khan that claimed lives of nine innocent people, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has announced compensation for victim families.
Under the package the district administration as per directives of the CM will promptly pay Rs 100,000 to heirs of each dead and Rs 50,000 to each fainted/injured in this incident. In addition to this, Khattak has also sanctioned special compensation amount of Rs 2 million for the affected families.
He, however, said that though it was meagre amount against precious human lives yet a token of sharing grief and financial hardships of the affected families on behalf of government and people of the province. The CM has asked the commissioner DIK to arrange release of the compensation amounts to the affected at the earliest.
The CM directed the commissioner, DC and police high-ups of DI Khan to reach the venue and supervise relief activities by themselves. He while expressing heartfelt sympathies with the affected families of the victims assured that they would be given justice while occurrence of such ugly incidents in future would be checked for good. He had assured that exemplary punishment would be given to all the concerned found guilty in this terrible incident.
Meanwhile, a three-member committee has been constituted to probe into the tragic incident. All the three sugar mills including Chashma-II have been ordered to close down their manufacturing process until a permanent solution to the toxic emission had not been chalked out.
The three-member committee headed by Additional Commissioner Qaisar Khan Mian Khel will probe into the incident.
As many as nine people were killed and 19 others got injured when they entered a drain, which was carrying intoxicated water of a sugar mill. All the victims were reported to be harvesters who were returning homes after cutting wheat crop. The incident occurred a small village Pulwan, some 5o kilometres away from DI Khan on Friday last.
Meanwhile, following the instructions of the CM, Commissioner DI Khan Mushtaq Jadoon along with DC, DPO and other authorities of irrigation and concerned departments visited four different villages whose people were affected of the Ramak drain due to release of toxic material of adjacent sugar mills in it. They offered Fateha for the deceased and prayed for early recovery of injured. They also apprised the local elders and victim families of the feelings and actions taken by the CM in this regard.
The locals and affected families showed complete satisfaction over measures taken by the CM and local administration. However, they were complainant of the sugar mills management. The commissioner told them that seven responsible persons of the mills have been arrested who were later given in custody of police for interrogation. He told that the CM has announced two-way compensation for the affectees while two prong steps of the cleanliness and security of Ramak drain have been taken immediately to avoid more mishaps there. He assured heavy machinery deployed at drain would clean all the drain to make it human friendly. He further told that the inquiry committee constituted on the CM's directives would start working from Monday (today) that would submit report within fortnight. The committee would also record statements of the affected families and would fix responsibilities on factual grounds wherein exemplary punishment would be proposed for those responsible for such human tragedy.