PDMA Punjab initiated the process of damage assessment on well-designed parameters. Initial assessment results were subjected to third party validations and correction of anomalies. The work was done so methodically that Punjab was able to launch the cash compensation programme for the flood affected people i.e. ‘Khadim-e-Punjab Imdadi Package (KPIP)’ by 1st October, 2014. In a record time of just 5 days i.e. before Eid-ul-Fitr (on 6th October, 2014), the Punjab Government disbursed around Rs. 2.6 billion amongst more than 75,000 people as first instalment of house damage compensation (amounting to Rs. 25,000 per family). Special Eid Campaign was also launched, and Ministers (including the Prime Minister, Chief Minister Punjab & Provincial Ministers) spent Eid with people living in relief camps or in marooned villages.
Eid gifts worth millions of rupees were arranged through donations, and distributed amongst the children. These were in addition to 35,000 family Eid gift packs arranged by the Punjab Government and distributed amongst the affected families in open gatherings. Administrative Secretaries and their departmental officers spent Eid night in affected villages to give the people a feeling of inclusion, and share their happy moments in an otherwise inhospitable environment. For upcoming winters, specially prepared quilts (25,000 in number) were ordered by the Punjab Government and distributed amongst the poor families whose houses had been damaged.
Second phase of KPIP was launched on November 10, 2014 which comprised three components:
- Rs. 55,000 as second instalment for completely damaged house
- Rs. 15,000 as second instalment of partially damaged house
- Rs. 10,000 per acre for damaged crop area (upto a maximum of Rs. 125,000 for 12.5 acres for any individual farmer)
- Rs. 10,000 as livelihood support for the poor families of flood affected areas (to be given to the female head of a family as pre-determined under the BISP)
Hallmark of KPIP was that all data was processed through TPV, checks and balances were applied through robust IT Systems, NADRA bio-metric verification was done for each beneficiary to preclude the possibility of wrong payment or duplication of payment, and both payment modes i.e. branchless banking and through specially printed Pay Orders were used to ensure speed and transparency in the whole process.
It may also be mentioned that government made special arrangements for transportation of beneficiaries from their homes to the Disbursement Centres and back home. Food was also provided to the beneficiaries while they had to wait for their turn to receive cash payment. Well thought out public awareness campaign was also launched during the rehabilitation phase of flood management so that illiterate rural people might not get deceived by touts, etc.
Effective grievance redressal mechanism was put in place in the shape of District Review Committees and District Grievance Redressal Committees, which were headed by men of established repute (and not working government officers), where the aggrieved might apply if they had the feeling of being left out without reason. Newspaper advertisements were widely published and special TV campaigns were launched to educate/inform the people about such government interventions.
Government of the Punjab also kept the Federal Government and the international agencies fully informed about its interventions to manage the adverse impact of floods. Posing full confidence in the Punjab Government, the Federal Government showed its willingness to fund 50% of the flood rehabilitation process if no donor support was provided and up to 75% if such assistance was made available. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank also acknowledged the efforts made for making comprehensive and authentic flood damage assessment, and expressed their intention to support in rebuilding damaged infrastructure and strengthening the resilience component in disaster management in the province. The role of PDMA Punjab was appreciated in designing and managing a Rs. 16 billion cash compensation programme (KPIP), and it was decided that PDMA would be strengthened further to manage catastrophic situations/disasters in a more effective manner in future. It was also accepted that District Governments required much more support and capacity enhancement to deal more effectively with such situations in order to reduce loss of life and property.
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