SC asks Sindh govt to explain reasons of drought

KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday directed Sindh government to explain the causes of drought in Tharparkar district and other areas of Sindh province, and also propose corrective long-term measures to avert famine-like situation in the province.

Three-member bench of apex court comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Amir Hani Muslim gave these directions while hearing a suo moto notice of the drought in Tharparkar that claimed many children’s lives, at its Karachi registry.

Chief Justice while expressing concern over mechanism of distribution of wheat bags among affected people in famine-hit areas asked chief secretary to make statement that each and every family would get wheat bags.

Chief secretary could not make any such statement but assured the apex court that provincial government was making efforts to ensure that each family in desert areas received wheat bags. He informed the court that a total of 87,000 wheat bags were distributed so far while more would be sent in drought-hit areas.

Chief Justice remarked that provincial government should improve the infrastructure in desert areas but unfortunately there was lack of political will and government was not willing to attend the issues.

The bench directed chief secretary to submit report explaining why Tharparkar was vulnerable to drought and water shortage. Besides, it issued directives to irrigation department to propose corrective long-term measures to avert famine-like situation in the province.

Secretary health informed the court that absence of specialists, senior doctors and lack of spirit for community service were adding to the health issues in famine-hit areas. He said that government had posted 25 doctors in Tharparkar district, out of which only eight joined the services.

Chief Justice remarked that most of medical officers come from comfortable backgrounds, therefore, they lacked enthusiasm for community service.

The bench directed provincial government to examine desirability of making mandatory six month’s community service in MBBS program so that spirit of community service among doctors could be boosted.

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