Tharis drinking toxic water: SHC told

KARACHI: Majority of the people and cattle of far-flung areas of Tharparkar are still drinking unsafe and toxic rainwater, which was the major cause of different diseases in the desert area, a Senior Civil Judge Tharparkar informed Sindh High Court on Tuesday.

Senior Civil Judge Tharparkar Mian Fayyaz Rabbani submitted a report before SHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, seized with the hearing of three identical petitions pertaining to the drought-hit people of the desert.

“Water is the basic necessity for the lives, the majority of the people and cattle of the far-flung areas of Tharparkar district are drinking stored toxic rainwater or salty water from the stored water tanks, which is one of the major cause for different diseases,” pointed out a report.

The relief inspecting judge underlined the need for installation of reverse osmosis water plants for the provision of potable water to the affected people.

He further informed the judges that 29 doctors/medical officers were posted in the district. He said that as many as 58 new appointments of doctors were made by the health department, but only 29 appointees joined their duties.

He said that the health secretary gave details the newly appointed doctors to join their duties in 15 days, which was quite unjustified keeping in view the emergent and urgent need of the health facilities in the drought-hit district.

The senior member of board of revenue and relief commissioner, Alamdin Bullo, and health secretary Iqbal Ahmed Durrani, appeared in court and filed their respective reports which were taken on record.

Senior Civil Judge submitted in report that during the visits in different hospitals and dispensaries of district Tharparkar, it was observed that except Civil Hospital Mithi, Diplo Chhachhro, Islamkot, Nangarparkar Hospitals were not functioning properly and there was dearth of portable water the desert.

He said that only 71 government dispensaries were operational while 52 were not working. Four basic health units were functional and two were not working.

One petitions seeking measures to deal with the Tharparkar tragedy was filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and rights campaigner Javed Iqbal Burki.

Other petitions were filed by the Sindh High Court Bar Association and Rana Faizul Hasan, a civil rights campaigner and secretary general of the United Human Rights of Pakistan seeking adequate health facilities in the Tharparkar district.

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