Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah moved out of the comfortable confines of Chief Minister House on Saturday and got a little more hands-on with relief efforts in flood-hit districts.
Accompanied by ministers Agha Siraj Durrani, Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Haleem Adil Shaikh, he visited Jacobabad and Shikarpur to hear the grievances of the survivors. The chief minister also distributed cheques worth Rs0.3 million each to families which lost members to the natural calamity.
While meeting some of the survivors at Jacobabad’s town hall, Shah said that President Asif Ali Zardari asked the Sindh government to do as much as it can to provide relief. The provincial government promptly released Rs75 million for immediate relief activities in Jacobabad. The chief minister added that a survey is under way and after assessing the damages, the government will compensate every affected family. More than three million people have been affected because of the downpour earlier this month. Jacobabad, Kashmore and Shikarpur are the worst-hit districts.
Recalling the super flood of 2010, the chief minister said, “About seven million people in twelve districts were affected and the government immediately came to their rescue by giving them Rs20,000 each through Watan Cards. But some of the survivors of the most recent disaster complained that they have yet to receive relief and that there is a lack of medicines in medical camps.
The chief minister responded by asking the health secretary to meet the shortage within 24 hours. Shah also distributed cheques worth Rs0.3 million each to 42 families. He was also scheduled to distribute bags of dry rations, but left for Shikarpur, where he distributed Rs0.3 million each to 33 families which lost members to the floods.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2012.
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