The Punjab government has outlined a comprehensive plan for reconstruction of physical infrastructure in the flood-hit areas, while the Punjab Disaster Management Authority and Planning and Development Department have been identified for providing one window interface for all rehabilitation and reconstruction activity.
As per details divulged by a source, for the upcoming donors’ conference, the provincial govt has prioritised education, health, housing, roads, irrigation and livestock. In this regard, a detailed presentation for the arriving donors has been prepared. However, the sources confided that the govt is yet to have specified one figure of money required for rehabilitation of the flood affectees and reconstruction of the devastated infrastructure, both public and private. “So far, we are sharing the figures of destroyed infrastructure with the expected donors, while the damage assessment is to be re-done because of certain inapproachable areas and the nature of devastation,” confided a source seeking anonymity.
As per the so far collected data, 1,778 mauzas are adversely affected in 11 districts, 850,000 families/households, 5.23 million acres area, 50,000 plus houses, 19m livestock, 817 poultry farms, crops on 1.712m acres incurring financial loss of Rs 80.73bn, 461 and 67 water channels and bunds respectively, and 975 roads of 3750 kilometres length have been damaged.
According to details, all relief activity would be coordinated solely by PDMA, while the routing of relief supplies on need basis and the payment of financial assistance to flood affectees would be coordinated by this agency. Moreover, the PDMA would also provide single point coordination for assessment of damages to private housing, crops, livestock and loss of income/livelihood.
Secondly, a special cell dealing with all reconstruction activity of public infrastructure has been established in the P&D Department, which will ensure preparation of sectoral strategies, assessment of damages and verification and re-verification, finalisation of partnerships with donors for undertaking parcels of restoration, negotiations with multilateral donors for provision of funds for reconstruction and overseeing reconstruction and ensuring qualitative standards.
The document, prepared for the conference, states that 603 public schools have been destroyed completely and 2,317 schools have been damaged, while for hundreds of thousands displaced people public schools are the refuge. For the purpose, 2,064 schools are being used as relief camps, which are expected to damage the school buildings further.
It has been further added that unprecedented floods have damaged the Health infrastructure and created a situation wherein diseases could assume epidemic proportions, while the rehabilitation phase, it is believed, would be painstaking and protracted. 23 Districts were affected, while only six have been categorised as most affected districts – Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Mianwali, Layyah and Rahim Yar Khan. Out of these, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur faced the major brunt of the floods and faced tremendous devastation and wide-spread dislocation.