Bilawal directs MPAs to monitor relief work in their constituencies

KARACHI    -  Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Friday that the unprecedented prolonged five spells of monsoon rains had badly affected people in 13 districts of Sindh, therefore, their priority was to protect the affected people in the first phase and then rehabilitate them with a relief package.

“We cannot leave them under the open skies but the provincial government must mobilize all its resources to support the affected people by providing them tents, mosquito nets, drinking water, cooked and uncooked food, healthcare facilities, and vaccination of cattle.”

He gave these directives to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while presiding over a special meeting to review the losses and damages caused by heavy rains and the measures taken by the provincial government here at CM House.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, local government minister Nasir Shah, Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab, Jam Khan Shoro (through video link), Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, SMBR Baqaullah Unar, Secretary LG Najam Shah, Secretary Finance Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Irrigation Sohail Qureshi, DG PDMA Salman Shah, Commissioners of Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Larkana attended the meeting through video link.

The chairman said that the ongoing monsoon season had submerged thousands of villages and towns in 13 districts in Sindh with a heavy downpour. “It [heavy rains] has affected and rendered thousands of people homeless, therefore, their proper care is the responsibility of our government in Sindh,” he said and directed the chief minister to send the party MPAs to their constituencies for helping their people.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah briefing Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that during the last 24 hours, Sanghar has received 319 mm rainfall followed by Umerkot 172 mm, Shaheed Benazirabad 162, Qambar-Shahdadkot 158, Tando Allahyar 150, Hyderabad 142, Khairpur 135, Larkana 127, Naushehroferoze 112 and Tharparkar 105. He added that widespread thunderstorm/rain with heavy to very heavy falls at scattered places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places was expected all over Sindh, therefore flood warnings has been issued all over the province.

Mr Shah said that the heavy rains have claimed 166 lives and injured 573. He added that according to the livestock dept 2,849 cattle have perished, 47,399 houses were damaged, including 6,489 fully and 40,910 partially damaged, and standing crops over an area of 810,683 were washed away/damaged.

The CM his party chief Mr Bilawal that 1,002 km of roads 256 roads, 18 bridges have been damaged by the heavy rains all over Sindh. He added that his government has declared nine districts as calamity-hit areas and four more districts were being declared. According to CM, around 1.053 million people have been affected and 432,658 displaced. “We have set up 61 relief camps where 1,169 people have been shifted and other people were not ready to leave their homes, therefore they have been provided tents, mosquito nets, beds, and such other things through PDMA.

Murad Ali Shah told the PPP chairman that as per rough estimates the rehabilitation of the affected people along with their houses and compensation for the losses of their damaged crops, shops, and repair of the damaged road network, bridges, and sewerage system would cost around Rs40 billion.

He told the chairman that the provincial government has meager resources, therefore the federal government would have to come over to help his government to rehabilitate the affected people. At this Chairman Bilawal Bhutto assured the chief minister that he would talk to the prime minister to help the Sindh government.

The chairman was told that LBOD was in a precarious condition right from Sanghar, Shahdadputr up to Kaloi. It was pointed out that Mirpurkhas had received 36 hours of continuous rain on August 18. Therefore, Mirpurkhas district, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, and its adjoining areas have\ been affected badly.

The meeting was told that the Latifabad and Qasimabad of Hyderabad have submerged, therefore dewatering machines have been installed to drain out rainwater. Jamshoro, Majhad, Sehwan taluka, Johi of Dadu, Tando Mohammad Khan, and Tando Allahyar have also been affected badly.

The Sukkur and Khairpur districts have also received heavy downpours, therefore the people of the areas, their entire date, and cotton crops have been washed away. The schools in Sukkur and Khairpur were closed for the last two days.

Larkana, Kambar-Shahdadkot, Shikarpur, and Kashmore have also been affected, therefore surveys of the losses and damages were being conducted there. The rain has also wreaked havoc in Nawabshah, Naushehroferoze, and Umerkot.

The chairman directed Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro to keep visiting the barrages and vulnerable points of different embankments to monitor the situation. All the concerned departments such as local Government, Irrigation, PDMA, health, livestock, and revenue depts must be activated for the welfare of the people, their property, and the protection of the government assets.

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto directed the chief minister to improve the entire road network in Karachi and repair its sewerage system as soon as the rains were over. He also directed the local bodies to start anti-mosquito and bacterial sprays in the areas where water has accumulated. He directed the chief minister to keep him informed about the situation and the relief and rehabilitation work regularly.