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January 7, 2020

CM Murad Ali Shah orders renting aircraft to kill locusts in Sindh’s desert areas


January 7, 2020

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the provincial agriculture department to rent a few latest aircraft to carry out aerial sprays against locust swarms in desert areas of the province so that they could be killed before the start of their breeding.

He issued the directive while talking to Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu on Monday. He also sought help from Chinese Consul General Li Bijan, who called on him at the CM House for the hiring of aircraft.

Shah said the recent locust swarm attacks on standing crops in various parts of the province had caused serious losses to farmers in general and the national and provincial economies in particular. “The growers are quite upset and their loss has also hurt him a lot,” he said.

He said the plant protection department of the federal government had a few aircraft, and most of them were grounded; therefore, they could not provide necessary assistance to the provincial government.

He directed the minister for agriculture to talk to the UAE government and request it to provide aircraft to the Sindh government for conducting aerial sprays in the desert areas of the province, where locust swarms had settled for breeding. “We have to kill them before their breeding; otherwise, they could cause an irreparable loss to crops next year,” he said.

The chief minister said the government would pay the rent for the aircraft and provide them necessary material for aerial sprays. Speaking with the newly appointed Chinese consul general in Karachi, Shah requested him to talk to his government and provide the government with support for the latest aircraft for sprays.

The consul general assured the chief minister that he would talk to his government and respond to him within next three days.

Shah thanked the Chinese government for establishing a coal-fired power plant at Thar, and said a Chinese company was working in Thar for coal-mining. “China is our most trusted friend and the foundation of this friendship was laid by the founder of the PPP, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he said.

The chief minister presented his memento, an ajrak and a Sindhi cap to the new consul general and welcomed him in Sindh. He asked him to consider Sindh his new home. Separately, the Chinese consul general in Karachi accompanied by the Chinese deputy consul general and the press attaché met Sindh Governor Imran Ismail.

The governor was informed that coal-based power generation had been launched at Port Qasim in Karachi in April 2018 under the regime of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor project at a cost of $1,912 million. This power generation project had been successfully producing 1,320 megawatts of electricity since then, the meeting was told.

The governor was extended an invitation on the occasion to visit the energy project at Port Qasim. The governor said development projects being built under the CPEC regime would go a long way in meeting national requirements related to key economic and social sectors.

He said prospective Chinese investors should forge an alliance with industrialists in Pakistan to launch joint ventures in the industrial sector. Ismail added that the friendly ties between China and Pakistan would go a long way in further boosting the national economy as well as stability in the entire region.

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