‘Rs1.25 trillion to be spent in Azad Kashmir’
30 September 2006
Muzaffarabad: An amount of Rs1.25 trillion is being spent on reconstruction and rehabilitation in the quake-hit zone of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, a senior official told newsmen here on Saturday. Sardar Mohammad Siddique Khan, Director General State Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (Serra), said Rs25.173 billion had been paid to survivors as compensation whereas Rs1.1136 had been paid to 109,828 families as cash livelihood grant till Sept 13. According to official count, 45,432 people were killed and 32,212 wounded in the AJK during the earthquake whereas the losses to private and public property stood at Rs125.203 billion. Mr Khan, who was accompanied by Brig Umar Farooq of army’s engineering corps, said the land use plan for Muzaffarabad city had been prepared by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and demarcation of the city had also been completed. He said around 12,000 families would be relocated either on account of vulnerability of their areas of residence or widening of roads in a satellite town for which a piece of land measuring 6,000 kanals had been identified and demarcated near Langarpura village. Of the land use plan of Rawalakot city, he said it was expected to be ready within 3 weeks by Nespak. As far Bagh city, its draft land use plan had been submitted by Nespak, he added. Mr Khan said the Erra Board had approved the PC-1 of a prefabricated housing scheme for Balakot and Muzaffarabad which would be completed at a total cost of Rs1.857 billion. Muzaffarabad would get 6,734 out of the total 13,660 units, some of which would start rolling to the AJK metropolis within a month, he said, adding, these units would be allocated to families who would be dislocated from the town during implementation of the land use plan. He said that a survey of 194,631 beneficiaries of compensation money had been conducted by the authorities and 51,851 (27 per cent) of them were found to have started reconstruction. The activity got a boost with formation of village reconstruction committees and was likely to increase up to 40 per cent by Oct 8, 2006, he said. The survivors, he said, had been allowed to use wood in construction of houses and a design of model house was under preparation. He said people of urban areas had also been allowed construction from Sept 25. But when asked how people could start work when they did not know if their area could be affected by the proposed widening of roads, he said the civic body would guide them when they would approach it for formal permission of construction. He said 35 main material hubs and 14 mini material hubs had been established in the affected areas where construction material was being provided at controlled rates. The prices, he claimed, had come down considerably due to establishment of these hubs. He said Rs5.926 billion were being spent on reconstruction of 176 health institutions including 47 civil dispensaries, 96 BHUs, 15 RHCs, 4 THQs, 2 CMHs and 2 DHQs. He said Rs28.240 billion were being spend on reconstruction of 2,706 educational institutions including 1,852 primary, 498 middle, 298 high-higher secondary schools, 20 inter and 12 degree colleges. Rs6.140 billion were being spent on communications and transport for construction of 810 kilometre roads and 2,725 metre bridges.