Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari today visited various rain affected districts of Sindh to monitor relief activities and to interact with elected representatives, relief committees and district administration officials of the affected areas through satellite video conferencing from Bilawal House Karachi.
The districts visited today included Benazirabad, Sanghar, Badin, Tando Allhah Yar, Thatta, Matiari, Mirpur Khas and Tando Mohammad Khan.
CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Ms. Faryal Talpur MNA, Ms. Fouzia Wahab MNA were also present with President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House. Members of Sindh Cabinet were present in the control room of CM House Karachi and the concerned officials were present in respective control rooms in the field.
During video conferencing the President monitored relief activities and the steps taken so far for the rehabilitation of the affected people in various localities.
The President especially enquired about the arrangements for facilitation of the farmers in the affected areas and the mechanism that has been put in place for distribution of seeds for Rabi crop.
It was informed that the distribution of wheat seed would be carried out through EDO (Revenue) of the districts and Monitoring Committees have also been set up to ensure transparency in the distribution mechanism. These monitoring committees would comprise of elected representatives, Deputy Commissioners, representative of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture and the representative of Sindh Abadgar Board.
It may be recalled that during yesterday’s meeting on Rabi Crop facilitation, the President was informed that Agriculture department Sindh has proposed a package costing Rs. 4.4 billion for growers of flood/rain affected districts whereby wheat would be cultivated on an area of 1.100 million acres in Sindh and wheat seeds would be provided to the affectee farmers at the rate of 50 kgs per acre along with one bag of urea. The President enquired about the availability of seeds in various areas and directed the required amount of certified wheat seed be purchased and distributed among the growers.
The President asked Sindh government to immediately complete distribution of sunflower seeds among growers in flood affected areas in Sindh.
During video conferencing the President was briefed about the progress in dewatering of the stagnated water from various areas. The President directed to expedite the completion process of dewatering. He also asked district administration in Tando Allahyar to install transformers to speed up flushing of rain water through dewatering pumps.
It may be recalled that during previous video conferencing, the President had a detailed discussion with legislators, district administration officials and irrigation authorities on dewatering issue in flood affected areas of Sindh and had called for a Master Plan for drainage to handle similar calamities in the provinces in future.
Accordingly, in the next meeting that followed, foreign consultant Louis Berger gave a presentation on drainage plan for dealing similar calamities in future and also submitted plan for enhancing capacity of left bank outfall drain (LBOD).
The President had also directed WPADA for preparation of a similar master plan for Balochistan, it may be recalled. The President enquired about progress made in this regard.
The President also directed for the provision of blankets to protect flood affectees from the cold weather. The President was told that 80 percent of affectees have left relief camps and returned to their areas as 90 percent of water is either drained out or evaporated in affected areas.
Responding to the suggestion for writing off the loans in rain affected areas, President said that the issue would be considered with federal Finance Secretary.
The President was informed that the rehabilitation activities have been started in rain affected areas after the completion of relief activities.
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