CM denies hunger induced deaths in Tharparkar

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, addressing the provincial assembly session Monday said the government in recent past has arranged wheat worth Rs 2 billion for 160,000 people of drought hit area in Tharparkar.

Responding to comments made by certain opposition members on the floor of the house about media reports regarding dismal situation in the area, he said no person in the area had died of hunger during past five years.

He also denied any unusual surge in the incidence of child death in Tharparkar mentioning that only one child is reported to have died in the recent past and he belonged to Nagarparkar.

The CM said “Drought,” is a natural phenomenon and is not Thar specific but registered in all parts of the country designated as arid zones.

And drought consequent poverty is also not unusual in the arid zones of the country, he said reiterating that this does not absolve him or his government to realize their responsibilities towards the people of the affected areas.

“PPP therefore since coming into power in its previous tenure as well as in the current one is working for infrastructure development with provision for water as its top most priority,” he claimed.

The chief minister said a network of RO plants has been established in Tharparkar/Nagarparkar and its vicinity and the number would be raised to 150 by June 2015.

“Moreover, we are also engaged in repairing of the existent potable water pipeline in the area but also taking measures in its expansion to the remotest areas,” the CM said.

Qaim said the provincial government fully conscious of its responsibilities towards needs of people in Tharparkar, Nagarparkar and areas in the vicinity has ensured that doctors, including lady doctors are readily available.

“During last one year period we have appointed 46 doctors in the area besides ensuring provision for a well equipped health facilities including hospital,” he said.

He also referred to construction of new road networks in the area coupled with initiating the 10 billion dollar gas power generation project in Thar.

He said the wind corridor developed by the Sindh government contributing 100 mega-watts of power to the national grid.

Qaim asked the senior assembly member and number of MQM, Syed Sardar Ahmed to visit the area and personally confirm the veracity of the claim made by him (the chief minister).

“I am ready to apologize on the floor of house if my statement is found to be wrong by senior leader of the opposition,” he said.

Early, the Sindh Assembly session that commenced Monday after two days was soon marked with verbal clashed between MPAs belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party and Mutahida Qaumi Movement.

The Speaker, Agha Siraj Durrani, however, managed to restore order in the house that was also addressed by MQM’s MPA Syed Izhar ul Hassan.

The session that was later chaired by Deputy Speaker, Syeda Shahla Raza also passed series of bills into laws and these mainly related to health issues, encompassing National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, TB Notification and so-forth.