In this photo taken from a Army helicopter, displaced Pakistanis take refugee along a road surrounded by flood water, after fleeing their flood-hit homes in Kunri, in Umerkot District of Pakistan's Sindh province, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011. – AP Photo

HYDERABAD: Leaders of public opinion have blamed government’s inefficiency for breaches, both man-made and natural, in the Left Bank Outfall Drain and other saline water drains, which have devastated 21 districts of the province and affected about 15 million people.

Speaking at a conference convened by the Awami Tehrik (AT) at the Mumtaz Mirza Auditorium of Sindh Museum here on Sunday, they said thousands of villages had been destroyed and the province had suffered losses to the tune of billions of rupees.

On an average 30 to 40 people were dying of hunger and diseases every day while about 700,000 displaced people were living in camps and many others in the open, they said citing a report of the National Disaster Management Authority.

They said three million people were suffering from diseases and nine million heads of cattle had perished in rain-related incidents.

Referring to a UN report, the speakers said there would be a catastrophe if the affected people were not provided succour on an emergency basis.

The speakers included AT’s leader Rasool Bux Palijo, chairman Ayaz Latif Palijo, Ghulam Nabi Mughal, Anwar Memon and Ms Afroze Shoro.

Resolutions adopted at the conference demanded that all districts and union councils affected by rains should be declared calamity-affected and all the displaced people be provided food and medical facilities.

One of the resolutions called for transparency in distribution of relief goods and ending the role of MNAs, MPAs, Waderas and bureaucrats in the distribution.

The conference demanded payment of adequate compensation to the affected people and said rain-hit farmers should be given free of cost seeds, fertiliser and agricultural machinery and should be exempted from land revenue, water charges and bank loans.

Another resolution appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of the flawed design of the LBOD and fix responsibility.

It said the rain affected-people should be provided free electricity for six months and students should be exempted from fees.

Stagnant rainwater should be drained out on a war footing and all encroachments in and along water ways should be removed.

The conference said the affected people should be settled in Hyderabad and Karachi. It termed Pakistan Card and financial aid of Rs20,000 a cruel joke. It demanded that each affected family should be paid at least Rs500,000.

STP meeting

The Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party has blamed flawed design of the LBOD for the colossal damage caused by heavy rains in 21 district of the province.

A meeting of the central executive council of the STP chaired by Dr Qadir Magsi on Sunday criticised what it described as insensitivity and callousness of the government and national and provincial disaster management authorities.

The meeting urged the government to declare Sindhi national language and the only official language in Sindh and said Sindhi should be taught as a compulsory subject in all private schools of the province.

The meeting demanded that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement should be declared a terrorist organisation and banned.

It expressed no confidence in the ongoing Rangers’ operation in Karachi. It advised the government to expel ‘terrorists’ recruited in the police department.’

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