Mar 20

ERRA adding insult to affectees’ injuries: MMA

RAWALPINDI: President Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami AJK, Sardar Ijaz Afzal Khan, has said Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) is adding insult to the injuries of quake affectees.

Talking to various delegations of the quake affectees here, he said that ERRA was more complicating problems of the affectees and torturing them instead of facilitating them. He said that demanding submission of applications for third and final installment of aid for construction of houses is tantamount to deriding the affectees.

He said all the money should have been paid in one installment so that the affectees could have constructed their houses with ease. On the contrary such a method for providing the aid was adopted that has been deemed as a severely torture to the affectees, he added. The MMA leader said that ERRA and SERRA first proposed a design and then changed it; as a result the affectees had to demolish the newly constructed houses and then reconstructed these in accordance with the changed designs.

Mr. Khan urged ERRA not to demand bonds of the affectess for getting the aid as it would manifold problems of the helpless people, many of whom are widows and children. He warned ERRA to change its behavior otherwise the affected people would have no option other than staging protests and JI will join them for corrective action.

Mar 04

Major quake May Hit Kashmir: Warn Experts

SRINAGAR: With Kashmir experiencing mild tremors during the past few days, experts here have not ruled out a major earthquake hitting the occupied Kashmir in near future. The experts say that the frequency of earthquakes gives an indication of a major catastrophe in the distant future.

Geological expert, Dr Mohammad Ismail Bhat said, “We are living in an active seismic zone and with frequent tremors, some pressure is building within the faultlines, which indicates that a major earthquake may hit Kashmir in the distant future”. The Project Coordinator UNDP/ Disaster Management Cell, Kashmir, Aamir Ali said there is no conclusion about a major tremblor taking place in Kashmir that can be drawn just because there has been mild tremors occurring here during the past few days.

The mild tremors were experienced on Fridan and Saturday. Prior to that, a mild quake was also experienced on Feburary 20 and 25. After these tremors, the rumours are afloat in Srinagar that a major quake may hit Kashmir anytime now.”Earthquakes cannot be predicted despite research being done worldwide in this regard”, Aamir observed.

He underlined the fact that the people in this part of the world have to come to terms with the reality that they live in an area which falls in a seismically highly sensitive zone.He added that the people need to develop proper understanding surrounding this fact and they need to cooperate with the government to avoid confusions and misinformation rather than adding to the problems by causing panic among people.

“We have to accept that we are living in an earthquake prone area, when and where an earthquake will strike and what will be its magnitude, is only known to the Almighty. We must take enough precautions to avoid large-scale devastation in the eventuality of a disaster. Despite these precautions, future earthquakes may still cause damage to buildings”, added Aamir.-SANA