CJP reprimands ERRA over failure to utilize funds in earthquake-hit areas

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, on Monday reprimanded Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) for not constructing even a single road in Balakot after the deadly earthquake in 2005.
A three-member bench headed by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a suo motu notice of alleged embezzlement in the grants and donations meant for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the earthquake survivors.
The chief justice said the government failed to initiate rehabilitation work in the city. ‘People in Balakot are still living under temporary homes even after 12 years of the earthquake.’
Someone in the government should work with honesty, he remarked.
He said it appeared that top administrator of ERRA just pocket their salaries and roam in two vehicles provided by the government.
He said 90 percent of the area was now in possession of ERRA, but no work has been done so far. He stated that attempts were made to trick the judiciary with statistics.
Problems will arise if ERRA continues to encroach public land, the CJP stated. Justice Nisar said National Highway Authority made off with 10 million dollars [that were to be spent on quake-hit areas]. “If bureaucracy cannot work, they should go home.”
In the last hearing a week ago, the court had sought 11-year performance of the ERRA and asked the authorities that as to why the funds reserved for earthquake-hit areas were transferred to the Benazir Income Support Programme and Multan Metro.
“Neither hospitals or schools were built nor the new Balakot city. The survivors are still living in tents and camps in the worst conditions,” he lamented.

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