Thursday September 29, 2022

Punjab slammed for ‘inhumane’ move against Sindh’s flood victims

By Our Correspondent
September 15, 2022

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has censured the “shameful” act of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Punjab government, which seized the flour trucks of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) at the Sindh-Punjab border.

Memon said in a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday that the PDMA had purchased flour from Punjab for Sindh’s flood-affected people, adding that the PTI’s Punjab government not only seized the trucks at the border but also lodged an FIR. He said the PTI has been repeatedly crossing every limit: first they launched a fake social media campaign to try to persuade international donor agencies and the UN to stop humanitarian aid for the flood-hit people, and now they are using their Punjab government for blocking relief items.

He also said the PTI does not have any justification for its “disgusting” actions. He lamented that the PTI’s Punjab government has seized the relief goods instead of helping the flood victims during the present crisis, pointing out that such acts are worsening the situation of the already devastated people.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also criticised the Punjab government. “It’s deplorable and painful that the flood victims’ urgent needs have been ignored only to advance politics of hatred. Their [the Punjab government’s] attitude is inhumane and can only be condemned,” he said while replying to a question during a news conference at the CM House.

Responding to another query, he said that $15 million are needed to construct the houses that collapsed in the floods. He added that the agriculture sector suffered a loss of Rs380 billion when their standing crops submerged. “We need to reconstruct the collapsed houses and revive the agriculture sector by offering them different incentives.”

Talking about the Rs4,000 per 40kg wheat support price announced by his government, he said wheat shortage is looming large all over the world. “The Russia-Ukraine war is bound to create wheat shortage because they are the largest wheat exporters.”

Shah said Sindh received unprecedented rains of 1,100mm and an additional 30 million acres feet of deluge of hill torrents from Balochistan wreaked havoc on the cities and towns located on the right bank of the River Indus, while a similar situation emerged on the left bank.

He said paddy was sown over 1,487,870 acres in the province, of which 1,063,273 acres has been damaged. “I’m trying to protect the crops still standing over 52,100.37 acres by providing them water.”

He also said that on Tuesday the PDMA provided 6,395 more tents, following which the total number of tents provided by different organisations stood at 216,063. He added that 185,561 tarpaulin sheets and 1,541,937 mosquito nets have been provided by different organisations, including 4,000 and 5,000 by the PDMA on Tuesday.

The CM said that 425,321 ration bags have been provided by the organisations, including 17,750 on Tuesday, and 406,446 litres of potable water has been distributed. He said that 576 medical camps, including 406 mobile ones, have been set up by the health department, the Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative and other partner organisations, where 735 doctors, 1,443 paramedics and 265 nurses are on duty.

He added that 19,456 patients were diagnosed with gastrointestinal issues, 22,156 with skin problems, 11,329 with suspected cases of malaria, 64 with suspected cases of dengue and 49,015 with other diseases on Tuesday alone, while 172 patients had died at flood relief camps, he added.