DADU: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday announced a relief and rehabilitation package to repair and reconstruct civic infrastructure and houses damaged by recent devastating heavy rains in Kachho region in the district.

He told journalists during a visit to RD-75 in flood protective dyke near Johi town that heavy rains in Khirthar mountains and Kachho had caused widespread destruction in areas from Qambar-Shahdadkot to Manchhar Lake and led to eight breaches in the flood protective dyke.

He said that Pakistan Peoples Party had developed road network and provided all basic facilities in Kachho soon after the party came to power and it would now rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure.

He said that he knew Kachho residents had suffered a great deal in heavy rain and claimed PPP government and elected representatives stood by them and extended them help since the first day of rain.

He said that they ensured supply of cooked food, ration bags, drinking water and medicines to the affected people and provided 3,300 out of 4,000 tents needed to provide lodging to the displaced people.

He said that he had directed the minister and secretary of irrigation to keep patrolling the dyke as long as there were chances of rain and asked secretary of works and communication to set up a camp at Kachho for eight days and rehabilitate all roads within a week.

The chief minister said in response to a question that the federal government could not impose its rule on Karachi to control it directly from Islamabad. There was no provision in the Constitution which might allow the Centre to do so, he added.

He said about former president Asif Ali Zardari’s hearing in NAB on Monday that the party’s CEC was meeting on Saturday to decide how Mr Zardari would appear and who would accompany him in the hearing. “Despite the fact Mr Zardari has certain health issues he has been summoned,” he deplored.

Sindh Minister for Irrigation Sohail Anwar Siyal told the chief minister that quantum of floodwater was about 250,000 to 300,000 cusecs which put huge pressure on the dyke from RD-00 to 220, ultimately causing seven breaches between RD-00 and RD-75.

Chief engineer irrigation Irshad Ali Memon and superintendent engineer Mansoor Memon said that a 50-foot breach occurred at RD-25, another 50-foot breach at RD-42, a 40-foot breach at RD-43, 35 feet at RD-44, 90 feet at RD-51, 100 feet at RD-52 and 160-foot wide breach occurred at RD-75.

The breaches affected 240,000 people living in 42,946 houses in 11 union councils and 90 dehs of taluka Johi, he said.

Secretary works Imran Atta Soomro said that around Rs121 million were required to rehabilitate 50 damaged roads, measuring over 13 kilometres. Rs443.7m would be needed for repairing 181 school buildings in Johi taluka and Rs161.72m for restoring 33 water supply schemes damaged in flash floods.

Minister for Rehabilitation Faraz Dero and DG PDMA Salman Shah said that PDMA had distributed 5,000 tents, 20,000 ration bags, 5,000 mosquito nets, 3,000 hygiene kits, 5,000 kitchen kits, 10,000 jerry water cans, 1,000 water coolers and 10 motor boats for relief work.

The chief minister was accompanied during the visit by ministers for irrigation and rehabilitation, MNA Rafiq Jamali, MPAs Pir Mujeeb, Shajila Leghari, Hyderabad Commissioner Abbas Baloch and other officers.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2020

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