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GUJRANWALA/SARGODHA/JHANG - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday declared that the catastrophic floods were deadliest in country’s history which had caused unprecedented loss to the province, destroying property, communication means and crops adversely.

The chief minister during visit to flood-hit areas of Gujranwala, Sargodha, Chiniot and Jhang told reporters that the government had mobilised all out resources for rescue and relief of the affected people.

“The Punjab government will not fall short of its commitment to safeguard life and take whatever step it can to ensure welfare of the affected people.”

In Gujranwala, he went to the house of a child Ahmed who died in roof collapsed incident and offered condolence to his parents. The chief minister also presented a cheque for Rs1.6 million to the bereaved parents. MNA Iftikhar Ahmed Cheema, MPA Shaukat Manzoor Cheema, DCO Azmat Mehmood and PML-N District President Mustansar Hussain Gondal were also present on the occasion. The Punjab CM directed the district administration for early repair to damaged house. He reiterated the Punjab government pledge to get all damage houses repaired and extend financial support to the affected farmers.

In Jhang, the Punjab chief minister visited Trimmu Headworks to review arrangements made by the district administration.

On the occasion, he said that the Punjab government was working day and night to save precious lives. He said that rehabilitation, relief and protection of lives and property of the affected people were the first priority, warning that negligence on the part of any official would not be tolerated. He ordered the Commissioner and DCO to keep vigilant eye on the overflowing rivers and observe all the activities in the flood hit areas personally. Shahbaz Sharif said that it was the duty of the administration to caution people to flood well in time and evacuate them to safer places. The Punjab chief minister ordered for ample availability of medicines, foodstuffs, tents and other essentials for flood-effected people.

In Sargodha, the chief minister said that Rs100 million had been released to each flood-hit district for the rescue and provision of daily-use items to the flood affected people. He dubbed the flash flood “worst and deadliest after 1992 flood which destroyed property, crops and cattle of the people, saying that he would not take rest until rehabilitation of the last affected family. He lauded the services being rendered by Rescue 1122, the Police, civil defence and the district administration.

He visited the flood-affected areas of Kot Momain, Sial Morr and others for the second day where he addressed the people. Shahbaz Sharif also presented a cheque for Rs1,600,000 to Mohammad Bakhsh whose son Mohammad Imran had drowned in floodwater. He also offered fateha for the departed soul. The chief minister said that first phase of the rescue operation was nearing completion and in the next phase, restoration and rehabilitation of the affected people would be undertaken. On the occasion, the DCO briefed the Punjab CM about the ongoing rescue and relief activities in the district.

Meanwhile, CM Shahbaz Sharif visited Chiniot for second day and went to Mangeeni village from where he went to flood hit areas through a motorboat.

Addressing to the flood-affected people, he said that all out efforts would be made and resources would be utilised for the rehabilitation of the flood affected areas.  He directed the district administration to increase flood relief facilities in the district.