KARACHI: The Sindh chief minister's (CM) Adviser on Information, Law and Anti-Corruption Barrister Murtaza Wahab has said that despite the notices taken on Tharparkar's situation by the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, no steps have been taken by the federal government to help the drought-affected people. He said that the Sindh government was taking relief measures on its own. Barrister Wahab said this while addressing a crowded press conference at his office on Tuesday.
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He said that on the directives of the Sindh CM, he along with the Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, visited Tharparkar to ascertain and ensure smooth relief measures for drought-hit people. "We went around the Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants, wheat distribution centres, godowns, health centres and Mithi hospital, and met people to be familiar with the ground realities," he said. He rejected the reports regarding the distribution of substandard wheat, adding that they checked the quality of wheat being distributed and the weight of bags during their visit to Thar and found them to be satisfactory.
Responding to a query, the provincial advisor said that as per practice, Thar was declared a calamity-hit area due to inadequate rainfall by August 15, adding that the Sindh government had taken the decision in time to declare Tharparkar calamity-hit in the first cabinet meeting held on August 19, 2018. Barrister Wahab added that 366 points have been identified for the distribution of wheat so that the people from far-flung areas could get relief easily. He said that initially with the help of NADRA, 208,245 families were registered for wheat distribution, adding that 67,905 more heads of families who had not been included in the initial list, were being included on the demand of the people of Thar.
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On another query, the provincial adviser said that RO plants became non-functional due to the delay in release of funds, adding that RO plants started working from Tuesday.
Barrister Wahab said that there was talk of dams in the country, adding that the Sindh government has completed the construction of 18 small dams in Thar without any help from the federal government.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2018.
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