LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to benefit from expertise of National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) to mitigate effects of climate change and deal with natural calamities such as floods, droughts and earthquakes.

The decision was taken at a meeting of NDRMF presided over by Punjab Chief Secretary Azam Suleman Khan at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by NDRMF CEO Lt-Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmad, Chief of Staff Mohy-ud-din Ahmad Wani, Fawad Hayat, Senior Member Board of Revenue Babar Hayat Tarar, Chairman Planning and Development Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, Secretary Environment Saima Saeed and officers concerned.

While speaking on this occasion, the Chief Secretary asked NDRMF officials to help Punjab government evolve a comprehensive policy for Revitalization of River Ravi, controlling environmental pollution, and flooding at River Sawan.

This policy would include measures to deal with issues of smog, fog, disposal of industrial waste, vehicular emissions, and water and air pollution, he added.

He said the NDRMF experts should extend technical assistance to the Punjab government and the relevant departments would closely coordinate with the NDRMF committee set up at provincial level.

Offering services of experts to deal with flooding in rivers and nullahs in the province, Lt-Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmad assured that they would extend all kind of technical and financial support to the Punjab government. He said that his organization is ready to help the provincial government. The Chief Secretary also directed the Irrigation Department officials to get benefit from the expertise of NDRMF to reduce risk of drought in Cholistan.

 The meeting also decided to adopt strategy of risk assessment before any disaster so that precious lives and infrastructure could be saved. Later, Lt-Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmad also presented souvenir to the chief secretary.