Rehabilitation of quake-hit regions


11 years after one of the most devastating earthquakes Pakistan has ever witnessed, the affected areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and still await the completion of rehabilitation projects. Reports suggest that the delay in the redevelopment work has been caused mainly due to a major chunk of aid falling into the hands of corrupt elements. As many as four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and three districts of AJK were badly affected by the disastrous quake. Buildings of almost all the schools in Muzaffarabad, Neelum and Haveli districts were destroyed, and thousands of children and teachers lost their lives. As many as 87,350 persons were killed, 138,000 were injured, and 3.5 million people were rendered homeless. The then government planned over 14,000 projects, and the institution of ERRA was set up for reconstruction and rehabilitation of projects and earthquake-affected areas.
According to an ERRA spokesperson, government worked out 5,723 projects for the education sector in affected areas. As many as 2,999 projects among them have been accomplished, and 2,724 are under construction, while work has not been started on some projects so far. 725 projects were allocated for governance sector; 532 among them were completed, while 193 are under construction. 326 projects were earmarked for the health sector. While 216 projects have been completed, no work has been started on 110 projects. 4,744 projects were allocated for water and sanitation project, and no work has been started on 173 projects among them so far. 309 projects were allocated for the transport sector.