Rawalpindi - The first consignment of 50 trucks containing relief goods was dispatched for earthquake affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by Punjab government under the directives of Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif yesterday.

On behalf of the CM, Provincial Minister for Labour and Manpower Raja Ashfaq Sarwar and Provincial Minister for Minerals Chaudhry Sher Ali dispatched relief goods from Rawalpindi. Commissioner Zahid Saeed, DCO Sajjad Zafar Dall, MPA Zaibun Nisa Awan, Officials of Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Rescue 1122 and other officers of district administration were present on the occasion.

Raja Ashfaq Sarwar talking to the media persons expressed his heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the affected families over the loss of precious lives and properties. He said the CM has directed to send off immediate relief goods to the earthquake-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and within over night, all arrangements were made to ensure delivery of essential eatable items including pulses, rice, milk, tea, biscuits, vegetable oil, sugar, medicines, blankets and other necessities. He said 65 rescue units including rescue vehicles, ambulances and other equipments were also sent with the consignment of eatables so that the trained rescue teams could take part in rescue work in far-flung hilly areas of the KP.

Raja Ashfaq Sarwar also briefed media persons that doctors, nursing paramedical staff and surgeons are also accompanying which would extend medical treatment facilities including conducing surgeries of earthquake victims. Giving further details of relief goods, he informed that 10,000 tents, 10,000 blankets and 10,000 food hampers had been dispatched to KP. Similarly, five trucks loaded 2,500 flour bags of 20-kg each were also sent for the earthquake affectees of KP.

Replying to a question Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that no damaged has been occurred to Rawalpindi Islamabad metro bus track and it’s a proof of its quality construction work.

Responding to another question, the provincial minister said that survey of dangerous buildings in Rawalpindi is in progress and the matter will be resolved after consultation with the residents of these buildings. 

Commissioner Zahid Saeed said that technical teams have carried out detailed inspection of entire metro route and no sign of any damaged was found. He said metro was safe for journey and it was functioning smoothly after the earthquake.

Meanwhile, Director General Rescue 1122, Brig (Retd) Dr Arshad Zia has constituted four different teams for rescue operation in the earthquake-hit areas on the special instructions of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.

Each team would be consisting 65 rescuers, medical, logistic and communication staff, four officers and eight rescue vehicles. The first team left Emergency Services Academy Lahore for Malakand under the supervision of Dr Farhan Khalid while second team proceeded to Swat under the supervision of District Emergency Officer Attock Dr Ashfaq yesterday. 

Arshad Zia has reached Rawalpindi from Lahore to look after the rescue operation himself, from where he is not only in touch with concerned authorities but also making contact with the all heads of four teams of Rescue-1122.

He gave full assurance to the Disaster Management Authority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that Rescue 1122 would be just one call away and its services would be available to them in any calamity-hit area round the clock.

He said that the rescue teams have reached Malakand and Swat in an organized manner and more teams are in red alert position if their services would be required to any district authority in the affected areas of KP.