CM expresses grief over loss of lives and property in rains calamity

* Says government stands by people in hour of trial, announces compensation for victims

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives and public property due to heavy rains in Lahore and other areas of Punjab Province and announced financial assistance of Rs 500,000 for the family of each of the deceased persons and Rs 100,000 for each of the persons injured in the calamity. Chief Minister Shahbaz further said that the Punjab government stands by the affected people in this hour of trial and that it fully shares their grief. 
According to a handout, the chief minister also issued instructions to the provincial administration to take immediate measures to cope with the situation arising out of driving rains and to accelerate relief activities. He directed administrative officials and Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) authorities to remain present in the field and ensure drainage of accumulated rainwater at the earliest. He said that assembly members, administration and WASA officials should personally supervise disposal of rainwater from low-lying areas and remain present in the field until the situation improves. 
Chief Minister Shahbaz directed that all-out resources be utilised for drainage of rainwater while best treatment facilities be provided to the persons injured in various accidents because of torrential rains. He said that relief activities be expedited and warned that no laxity would be tolerated in this regard. He also directed assembly members to visit the families of the people who have died in tragic incidents to share their grief.  
Meanwhile, in view of heavy rains and threat of floods in the province, the chief minister has assigned responsibilities to provincial ministers to monitor relief activities in nine divisions of the province and directed them to immediately reach their respective destinations. He said that elected representatives, commissioners and district coordination officers (DCOs) should monitor relief activities for the affected people with commitment and devotion. 
He said that assembly members should also monitor relief activities in their respective constituencies. He further said that relief operation should immediately be started in case of any unpleasant incident and that concerned institutions should remain alert to cope with any emergency. 
While issuing instructions to the provincial administration to deal with the threat of floods in the wake of heavy rains, the chief minister said that provincial administration and concerned institutions should keep a watchful eye on water inflows in rivers and remain fully alert to any eventuality. He further directed that precautionary measures be adopted to deal with potential flooding threat and that institutions concerned should ensure implementation of SOPs to tackle any emergency.

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