BAHAWALPUR: On the direction of Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, a delegation comprising Punjab assembly members and government officials, along with the commissioner paid a visit to Cholistan’s desert areas affected by acute shortage of water, resulting in death of 50 sheep.

According to an official hand-out on Wednesday, the delegation comprising MPAs Mian Muhammad Shoaib Owaisi, Malik Muhammad Zaheer Channar, Cholistan Development Authority (CDA) Managing Director Mahar Muhammad Khalid, Bahawalpur Deputy Commissioner Irfan Ali Kathiya and Additional Commissioner Tariq Bokhari led by Commissioner retired Capt Muhammad Zafar Iqbal visited the affected areas of Channan

Pir and Garkhan in Cholistan, met the affected shepherds and assured them of government’s support.

On the occasion, the commissioner told the media that the human and animal populations were being shifted from the drought-hit areas to the nearest places where drinking water was available for them.

Affected people, cattle being shifted to places with water availability

He said the government had set up base relief camps at 11 places for the drought-hit people and their cattle under the supervision of assistant commissioners concerned.

He said these camps would also provide medical treatment and medicines to the drought-hit people, adding that for the purpose doctors and paramedical staff, besides ambulances, have been arranged. He added that the CDA field staff has also been deputed in the affected areas.

According to a hand-out, the commissioner earlier presided over a meeting that devised strategy to provide relief to the drought-hit people and animals in the desert areas. The meeting decided to immediately launch a relief operation in the affected areas led by respective ACs, who would organise base camps in the desert areas falling within their respective jurisdictions.

DCC MEETING: After change of governments at the centre and in Punjab, the district coordination committee (DCC) responsible for the approval of uplift projects in the the district was reconstituted, replacing the PTI parliamentarians with ruling PML-N lawmakers and former ministers.

Former PML-N federal minister Baleegh-ur-Rehman, who has been nominated as Punjab governor, presided over the DCC meeting, which was briefed on the pace of development projects across the district and the utilisation of the government funds.

DC Irfan Ali Kathia briefed the committee, comprising former Punjab minister Malik Iqbal Channar, MPAs Afzal Gill, Mian Shoaib Owaisi, Ex-MPA Qazi Adnan Farid, and others. It was informed that so far a sum of Rs7,141 million, out of total allocation of Rs9,709m for 321 uplift projects under the Annual Development Programme 2021-22, have been utilised in the district.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2022

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