HYDERABAD: The coal-rich desert region of Tharparkar holds a promising future of economic prosperity for both the province and the country. The quality of life of its residents, given the rampant poverty and recurrent droughts, remains a challenge.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) organised a seminar, ‘Development of Tharparkar: Challenges and Opportunities’ at the Hyderabad Press Club on Sunday. While most of the speakers highlighted how the government had failed to deliver with respect to the ongoing famine, the party’s leaders, acknowledging the bad governance, laid out the development plans.
“I think there is a big crisis of governance,” said the PPP’s provincial general secretary, Taj Hyder. “I admit we delayed response [to famine] and made mistakes. But now, we have to move on with a focus to improve people’s lives.”
Hyder, gave multiple references of bad governance in the district. “A 62-room mono-technical institute built with funds worth hundreds of millions of rupees [during Arbab Ghulam Rahim’s government] lies deserted in Mithi. All the equipment and furniture is rotting there.”
Hyder shifted part of the blame on the professionals who avoid working in Tharparkar due to the poor living conditions. He said that as soon as the relief activities picked up in early March, 40 doctors from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and five mobile teams from Punjab reached out to the most difficult areas in the district. The doctors from Sindh and even those of Tharparkar posted in other districts were, however, reluctant to work there.
He revealed that the Sindh government was planning to install 750 reverse osmosis plants to ensure all the 2,300 villages in Tharparkar get drinking water.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2014.
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