Even after the passage of 15 years, those who lost their kin and houses in the October 2005 earthquake still wait for promised relief. As usual a high-profile Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) was created on October 24, 2005, with a high administrative cost. It goes to the credit of foreign donor agencies and friendly countries who came forward to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of this natural disaster that they accomplished their task.

It is unfortunate that projects and relief that was to be provided to the victims by ERRA has not materialized. For the past few years, victims of this tragedy have been protesting in Azad Kashmir on 8 October every year. The objective of organizations like ERRA is not to provide jobs for retired or serving servants of the state, but to focus on relief with minimal administrative cost.

It adds salt to injury that former ERRA executives were given expensive SUVs and vehicles, but the objective of relief work was not accomplished. Foreign organizations involved in providing relief to victims of the 2005 Azad Kashmir and KPK earthquake performed their assigned task with minimum expenditure on living and administration, while the same austerity measures were not adopted by our own people. Few within ERRA administration also availed the practice and abuses such as getting vehicles on discounted price etc.

State funded organizations for providing relief to citizens should employ professionals qualified in relief instead of bureaucrats who seem to be immune to the concept of austerity and commitment expected from those who voluntarily offer their help with bare minimum financial impact.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.