MUZAFFARABAD: As the 12th memorial anniversary of a devastating earth quake marked on Sunday which left nearly one hundred thousand people killed and hundreds of thousands homeless besides destroying the basic infrastructure, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) still required Rs. 39 billion to complete reconstruction related projects.
The day was started with special prayers in the mosques for the martyrs of the quake followed by a one minute silence at 8:52 am to pay tribute to them throughout AJK and functions and seminars were held to remember the horologic moments.
The main function of the day was held at Khursheed Hassan stadium Upper Ada presided over by acting Prime Minister Raja Nasar Ahmad Khan who earlier laid flower on the memorial of earth quake victim and inaugurated a school building built under reconstruction program.
However, Secretary of the state reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (SERRA) Sardar Farooq Tabbasum told that there were hundreds of schools and other buildings still to be completed and they required Rs. 39 billion to achieve the target.
The memorial activities were started on Saturday with a walk organized by State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) led by Secretary of SDMA Zaheer Quraishi aimed to create awareness among the masses about precautionary measures to meet any catastrophe or disaster.
The walk was participated by a large number of people belonging to civil society, government officials, traders and others holding banners about preparatory measures to deal such situations and renewal of enthusiasm to restart life.
The activity was followed by a candle lightening activity in the evening at Noluchi bridge, built after the quake and considered as a symbol of reaffirmation and reconstruction after devastation in the town to remember the movement and people who left their loved ones during the quake.
The day was also marked as awareness day about natural catastrophes to aware the masses about prevented measures and preparedness to deal after affects by organizing different activities under auspices of State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
Sardar Farooq told the gathering that there were 7836 projects planned under reconstruction program after the destruction of the quake, out of which 5393 were completed while work on 1595 was underway and many even could not started yet.
He expressed the confidence that the reconstruction Authority had the capacity to complete the remaining work within to years if the funds required would be available with them saying Rs. 1.3 billion allocated this year for the reconstruction projects.