LARKANA: Sindh Minister for Universities and Boards Mohammad Ismail Rahu and coordinator to chief minister Hina Dastagir faced a barrage of complaints about poor law and order, acute shortage of irrigation water, lack of civic, health facilities, sale of narcotics and other issues at an open kachehri on Monday.

The minister and the coordinator heard peoples’ complaints at Begum Nusrat Bhutto memorial hall and asked officials concerned to resolve them.

A man complained about sale of heroin in Ali Goharabad locality under the very nose of police and appealed to the minister and the SSP to eradicate the menace and save youth.

The minister directed the SSP to take action against the SHO concerned and post another official in his place.

A number of growers expressed frustration over late arrival and acute shortage of irrigation water that had seriously damaged rice crop.

A grower Ali Mohammad Khoso complained to the minister that former minister of irrigation Suhail Anwar Siyal had got an FIR lodged against him and his colleagues after they held a protest outside his residence against unavailability and shortage of water.

The minister asked the SSP to investigate the complaint and agreed with growers over shortage of irrigation water. “We (PPP government) are also raising the water shortage issue and pressing centre for releasing adequate supplies of water to Sindh,” he said.

A number of the town’s residents complained that ground water was fast turning brackish after the construction of retention wall of Rice Canal. The wall was the reason behind making sweet water saline. If measures were not taken in time, it would soon make all ground water unfit for human consumption, they said.

The deputy commissioner said that he would personally visit the Rice Canal and help resolve the issue.

The minister admitted that the issue of encroachment was not confined to Larkana only but it was a problem of the entire province and promised to address the problem. PPP district president MNA Khursheed Junejo added that the district administration was taking steps to resolve the problem of encroachments.

Despite having an army of 500 sanitation workers Larkana Municipal Corporation could not ensure sanitation in the city, said a participant and referred as an example to battered drainage system in Nazar mohalla.

The minister said that they were trying to resolve peoples’ problems at their doorstep. “After a brief interval in holding open kachehries due to Covid-19 we have once again resumed such gatherings to listen to peoples’ woes,” he said.

He said that efforts were being made to shift Sabzi Mandi and directed the DC and the SSP to resolve peoples’ problems. If they felt the need they could refer the complaints to provincial headquarter as well, he said.

The minister along with the coordinator and MNA Junejo later visited Larkana Press Club and handed over a cheque for Rs200,000 on behalf of Larkana Municipal Corporation to president and general secretary of the club.

Event marred by protests

The open kachehry was marred by demonstrations held by four different groups.

As the open kachehry was in progress, heirs of a man, Saeed Abbasi, who had gone missing in Mohammad Khan Kalhoro village in Dokri taluka on the 10th of Moharram, demonstrated outside the hall and accused police of showing reluctance in registering an FIR.

The other protests were staged by students who believed that the results of the entry test conducted by the Pakistan Medical Commission for admission to medical colleges were ‘unfair’; and employees of Larkana Development Authority who decried non-payment of salary for 18 months; and a number of women of Jatoi clan against police for picking up Aslam Jatoi, whose whereabouts are not known.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2021

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