KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was informed on Monday that so far over 1.3 million people had been given either the first dose or both doses of Covid-19 vaccination across the province.
Responding to a calling-attention notice moved by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmaker Rana Ansar, parliamentary secretary for health Qasim Soomro said that 964,000 people had been administered the first dose, while over 350,000 had been given both doses.
He said that the province had received 2.06 million vaccination doses of five different companies, including three Chinese firms, from the federal government.
The MQM-P legislator had asked the health department to inform the house that how many people of the province had been given Covid-19 vaccine and what the budget allocations and expenditure were for the vaccination drive.
‘Gangsters re-emerging and narcotics being sold openly in Lyari’
Qasim Soomro said the provincial government had spent Rs60m for ultra-chillers for preserving the Pfizer vaccine.
He said 364 vaccination centres had been established across the province. “They [vaccination centres] include 46 centres set up in private hospitals,” he added.
The parliamentary secretary said that the enforcement of lockdowns was an effective mechanism for containing the pandemic. “The provincial government took effective measures to deal with Covid-19 in an exemplary manner,” he said, adding that the provincial government’s example was being followed by other provinces as well.
Mr Soomro said that even the World Health Organisation had also appreciated the Sindh government for taking prompt and effective measures to contain the pandemic.
He said the only way to get rid of Covid-19 was to vaccinate 70 to 80 per cent population.
Responding to a calling-attention notice moved by PTI’s Adeeba Hassan, Public Health Engineering Minister Shabbir Bijarani informed the house that there were a total of 2,368 RO plants in the province, including over 500 in Thar. He said that contracts had been awarded for operation and maintenance of all RO plants in the province through open bidding.
The minister said that tenders for RO plants in four districts –– Badin, Umerkot, Sukkur and Ghotki –– were not yet finalised as bids were not offered.
He said that the public health engineering department was monitoring the progress of work being carried out by contractors at the RO plants.
Law & order in Lyari
Replying to a calling-attention notice given by Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal member Syed Abdur Rasheed, Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh said the Sindh police were working round the clock to maintain law and order.
The MMA member said that gangsters in Lyari were emerging once again and drugs were being sold openly in the vicinity.
He said that armed people were roaming about freely in Lyari, but the police did not bother to take action against them. He also expressed reservations over the surge in street crime across Karachi.
The MPA also alleged that the arrested gangsters were being released and the police had double standards in dealing with the gangsters and those who violated Covid-19 SOPs.
Minister Shaikh assured the MMA MPA that the criminal activities in Lyari or any other part of the province would not go unattended.
He said that the DIGs and SSPs in the province had already been directed to ensure security of the lives and properties of the people.
The minister said that the provincial government was making all-out efforts to improve the law and order situation in the province.
The parliamentary secretary said that an industrial plot and 33 commercial plots had been allotted through open auction in SITE Mithi, adding that no unit was in operation.
While replying to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during Question Hour in the house, parliamentary secretary for industries and commerce Nida Khuhro said that the Sindh Small Industries Corporation was established under the Small Industrial Estate Mithi in 2014-15 over 50 acres.
She said that 60 industrial and 50 commercial plots had been developed in that area.
To a verbal question, she said proper infrastructure, including a grid station, was available in the Northern Bypass (Karachi) area which was being expanded.
In reply to a question by MQM-P’s Rana Ansar, the parliamentary secretary said that there were 592 textile industrial units across the province.
Giving a breakup, Nida Khuhro said that there were 516 textile industrial units in Karachi SITE, 25 in Superhighway SITE, 31 in Nooriabad SITE, 15 in Kotri SITE and five industrial units in Hyderabad SITE.
In most cases, the parliamentary secretary could not come up with replies to the satisfaction of opposition members. However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla rescued her at times, giving details in reply to supplementary questions.
Meanwhile, newly-elected PPP MPA Dada Mohammad Halepoto from Badin took the oath of affirmation.
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and PPP members, including Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu, greeted the newly elected party member.
Later, the house was adjourned to Tuesday.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2021