MIRPUR (AJK)-Azad Jammu Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan on Wednesday reiterated his government pledge that disbursement of financial relief amount under Special Compensatory Package to the earthquake affected will begin next month.

Talking to this correspondent here, the prime minister said that his government has already approved a Special Compensation Package for September 24 deadly earthquake-stricken Mirpur, enhancing volume of the relief amount from three to five folds.

AJK’s seasoned Bureaucrat and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Raja Amjad Pervez Ali Khan, newly-elected President of Jammu Kashmir Union of Journalists Hafiz Maqsood Mirza and Vice President Raja Sohrab Ahmed Khan were also present on the occasion.

He revealed that approval had been given at a high-level meeting presided over by him [Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan] at WAPDA rest house Mangla near here.

To a question, the Prime Minister observed that the disbursement of the financial package to the calamity hit Mirpur population had to be slightly delayed for few days because of the announcement of elections schedule for by-election to the vacant Mirpur LA-3 seat of AJK legislative Assembly being held on November 24.

The Prime minister continued that under this special package, the government has announced to pay Rs1,000,000 per deceased, Rs800,000 for permanent disability, Rs100,000 for severe injury, Rs20,000 for minor injuries, Rs500,000 for complete house damaged, Rs200,000 for partial house damage, Rs50,000 for protection wall, Rs200,000 for commercial dairy farm, Rs100,000 for loss of cattle heads, Rs75,000 for small vehicle and 30,000 for motorcycle.

“It is for the first time that the government is compensating the losses of dairy farms, poultry farms, protection walls, cattle heads, sheds and other properties in addition to the compensation for damaged houses and casualties,” he claimed.

Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan directed the institutions concerned to immediately compensate the affected people through one-time payment process and start providing the design for the new construction at village level. “Not more than three days to be taken for the approval of design for the construction” the premier further directed. Mirpur Development Authority (MDA), Buildings Department, Mirpur Development and Housing Authority (MDHA) and district administration would immediately start work on it.

Haider said that compensatory relief package was specially considered for the quake affectees to enable them stand on their feet. “We cannot compensate the actual losses. However, it is an attempt to at-least start the life again”, he added.

Raja Farooq Haider said that compensation would be transparently distributed among the affectees. “No deserving person or family would be left without compensation”, he added.

He hoped that the federal government would fulfil needs of rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in the quake hit areas of Mirpur.

The prime minister said that the departments concerned have been directed to take special steps and make the damaged roads useable till their complete rehabilitation.

He lauded Mirpur Division administration headed by the Div. Commissioner / Relief Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb and other line departments for their well coordinated joint efforts while responding the 24th September’s natural calamity.

It may be added that 3010 houses totally damaged while 7330 were partially damaged during the quake. 375 dairy farms, 561 sheds and 1101 other properties were also damaged. The survey of the damaged properties has also been completed so far.

BUILDING CODE TO BE

STRICTLY IMPLEMENTED

The Authorities have decided that new constructions would be made in the light of the recommendations of geological report which was carried out after Mirpur quake. Camps would be set up in the villages to approve housing and other construction designs. The meeting decided to establish District Reconstruction Unit (DRU) in Mirpur.

At the same time on the special directives of AJK Prime Minister, a seven member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Development) has been constituted so far to coordinate with the government of Pakistan for the required financial assistance during the rehabilitation and reconstruction program.

Several other decisions related to the early rehabilitation and reconstruction program in quake affected areas were also taken in the meeting attended by the AJK cabinet members and Legislative Assembly members, Secretaries and heads of various nation-building institutions and concerned officials.