Sindh to approach Centre for hospitals’ control

Ban imposed on rice cultivation on Indus River’s left bank

Our Correspondent March 23, 2021


The Sindh government has decided to approach the federal government regarding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to keep the administrative control of Karachi’s three major hospitals - Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH).

Besides, in light of increasing reports of waterlogging near River Indus, a ban has been imposed on paddy crops on the left bank of the river.

The decisions were taken during separate meetings held at the Chief Minister’s House on Monday.

City’s hospitals

With regards to the city’s three major hospitals, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was apprised that the federal government has decided to constitute a board of governors under the presidentially promulgated Medical Teaching Institute Ordinance.

The meeting decided that the Sindh health department and the CM would write to the federal government and the premier, respectively, and ask the Centre to sign an MoU with the provincial government to run the contested hospitals.

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Paddy crops

Separately, during a joint-meeting of the agriculture and irrigation departments and the divisional administrations the provincial government decided to impose a ban on paddy crops on the left bank of the Indus River.

The districts affected by the ban would include Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Matiari, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Hyderabad.

According to Shah, the paddy was a semi-aquatic - high delta - crop that required 16.5 millimeters of water each day and it takes 2,500 to 3,000 litres of water to produce one kilogramme of rice.

Due to its water loving nature the other crops in its surroundings could not survive as their roots get damaged, said Shah, adding that continuous standing water also caused waterlogging. “Standing water for a long time affects the capillary tubes of soil and increases the capillary movement of water to far flung areas,” he said.

Seconding Shah, Sindh Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwer Siyal said that the rice crop utilises the irrigation water share of other crops resulting in a drought-like situation in tail-end areas.

The cultivation of low delta crops such as the Kharif pulse moongbean crop, watermelon, muskmelon, cucurbits and other vegetables was advised instead.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2021.


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