The various developmental projects inaugurated were Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Expressway from Garho to Shah Bundar, new buildings of District Headquarters Hospital Badin, District Headquarters Hospitals Dadu, emergency trauma centres at Badin and Shikarpur and the launch of Township Scheme in Karachi under the Benazir Shaheed Housing Project.
Those present at the ceremony among others were Sind Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Lt-Gen (r) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, managing director, Zulfikarabad Development Authority, federal and provincial ministers, parliamentarians, MPAs and other senior officials.
Addressing the ceremony, the president said the government, while pursuing its development agenda during the five years, gave top priority to the infrastructure development and provision of basic health and housing facilities to the people. He added all the projects inaugurated and many others to be completed soon had been undertaken to meet the pledges the PPP government had made to the people of the country.
According to Senator Farhatullah Babar, the president said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Expressway, 44km-long road, from Garho to Shah Bandur, would contribute to the economic development of the area and the well being of the people. The president expressed the hope that the project, after its completion, would provide easy access to fishermen on the sides of the River Indus and help alleviate poverty and promote seafood industry. It would also minimise the losses caused by lack of storage and transportation facilities, he hoped.
The president commended Lt-Gen (r) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, managing director, Zulfikarabad Development Authority, and his entire team for building this road and expressed confidence that the project would boost the local economy by creating jobs and enhancing connectivity.
The president, while referring to the Law and order situation in Karachi, said pursuing reconciliatory approach, the government together with allied parties and other stakeholders, was working to ensure peace and stability in the city as safer Karachi was vital for economic development of the whole country. He said the government was taking all possible steps for lasting peace and stability in Karachi besides strengthening civil components of the law-enforcing agencies.
The president said the government was going to complete its tenure and added the next elections in the country would be held on time. He, however, remarked the government would not let militants, sectarian elements and anti-democratic forces to sabotage the electoral process by creating law and order situation in the country.
The president, while inaugurating the newly constructed buildings of District Headquarters Hospital in Badin and other health-related facilities in the province, said improvement of health care facilities at district and grassroots level was a priority of the government and, for this purpose, the Sind government was going to upgrade the district headquarters and taluka headquarters hospitals in 17 rural districts. He was happy that the project was progressing well. Over Rs 13 billion were being spent on these projects, he said.
Zardari said a state-of-the art medical and emergency-cum-trauma centre was beyond the reach of the people of distant areas and the people had to travel long distances to reach major cities for this purpose.
The president said the people of far-flung areas would be having facilities for treatment and trauma rehabilitation at their doorsteps, which were not available to them in the past. He termed the provision of quality medical facilities and emergency-cum-trauma units at district and taluka headquarters hospitals a great improvement in the health care in the province and added these hospitals would now have emergency services, dialysis machines, operation theatres, ICUs, recovery rooms, Isolation wards and X-ray/ultrasound facilities besides providing outpatient services.
Zardari also inaugurated Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Township Scheme in Karachi. Speaking at this ceremony, the president recalled the allotment of free houses among the needy and termed it fulfillment of yet another promise.
He said the housing and plot schemes had been launched under Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Housing Programme and assured the people of allotting plots to deserving families in different parts of Sind.
The president said poverty alleviation and emancipation of the poor had been the guiding principles of the present democratic government. He remarked: “We are guided by the vision of our visionary leaders, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, in this regard. ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ is not merely a slogan; it is a commitment,” the presidetn said and termed various projects a landmark achievement of the Sind government. He said the government was busy fulfilling the pledges made by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to provide ‘roti, kapra aur makan’ to every citizen, particularly the poor.
Zardari said the government had set up Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Housing Cell (SBBHC) to provide housing, the basic human requirement, to the poor. The cell, the president said, had been tasked to build 6,500 low-cost houses in 23 districts, which would be distributed free of cost among the poor.
He was glad to know that the houses had been built in the far-flung rural areas of the province on the beneficiaries’ own land where they had been living since decades. He said the Township Scheme in Karachi was a great step forward and commended Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Minister for Housing Ayaz Soomro and everyone in the Benazir Housing Cell for this achievement.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and PPP ministers met President Zardari at Bilawal House and discussed with him the upcoming elections, the caretaker setup and the party issues.