KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday visited the Aga Khan Hospital and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) to inquire about the recovery of Raza Imam, 40, who was wounded in police firing near the Cantonment Railway Station and six-year-old Hasnain, brutally bitten by dogs in Larkana.
During his visit, Raza Imam told the chief minister that he was settled in Canada and had returned home last year.
“Now, I will return to Canada,” he said.
The chief minister told him to enjoy life in the city and no such thing would happen to him in the future.
“This was an unfortunate incident in which your friend [Nabeel Hoodbhoy] got killed and you sustained bullet injuries in police firing,” he said: “This incident has shocked and saddened me”.
Mr Imam said he and Raheel were classmates in Karachi Grammar School before he moved to Canada to reside and studied in the United States.
Wants electrification, gasification of villages expedited
“We were childhood friends and used to meet regularly.”
Mr Shah said he had ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident and the policemen involved in the incident had been arrested. “It is our responsibility to provide you justice.”
Doctors told the chief minister that the patient was in a stable condition and could return home in 24 hours.
Later, the chief minister went to the NICH to visit Hasnain. NICH executive director Dr Jamal Raza briefed him on the condition of the dog-bite victim. He said the child was still in a precarious condition and a 10-member medical board constituted by the CM under Dr Jamshed Akhtar was trying to save his life.
Mr Shah told Hasnain’s father, Ghulam Hussain, that his government was ready to send the boy to any hospital in Pakistan or abroad to save his life.
Dr Raza said Hasnain’s condition was not stable enough to be able to shift him abroad.
Ghulam Hussain thanked the chief minister for his personal support.
Electrification, gasification of villages
Presiding over a meeting held to review village electrification and gasification, Chief Minister Shah on Saturday asked the energy ministry to make sure the gas and electricity distribution companies expedited work in the hundreds of villages in the province.
The meeting was informed that the criteria to undertake electrification of villages under the annual development programme required that the beneficiary village must have a population of 100 or above, and such villages should have a maximum distance of four kilometres from an existing 11kV high-tension line etc.
Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh told the meeting that a project costing Rs11.2 billion continued from June 2008 to June 2018 to provide electricity to 8,514 villages; out of which, 7,749 villages had been provided electricity so far. Work on providing power to 765 more villages was going on.
Mr Shah asked the minister to meet with power distribution companies and urge them to complete the work on a priority basis.
The meeting was informed that the SSGC was given Rs6.5bn for gasification of 957 villages; of which, 845 villages had been gasified while work on the remaining 116 schemes was stopped.
CM Shah showed his displeasure over stopping of village gasification work and asked the energy and finance ministries to sit with SSGC authorities and get the schemes reconciled within a week.
Mr Shah said winter had already set in and villagers were living without natural gas despite the fact that the government had made payment to the gas company.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2019