ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has been asked to look into the alleged failure of the Sindh government in managing the recent flash floods disaster.

A petition seeking the apex court’s intervention was filed by Advocate Dilbar Khan Leghari on Wednesday under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which deals with the enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens. Mr Leghari sought court directions to the Sindh government, including the chief minister, to furnish details of rescue, relief work and drainage of inundated rainwater from the affected areas of the province.

The Supreme Court was also asked to seek details from the provincial government of directions issued for the execution of a furnished plan as well as the expenditure incurred on relief work.

The petitioner alleged that the provincial government failed to provide food, clothing, medicine, tents and financial support to the affected people and urged the court to take up the issue on a priority basis to rescue crisis-hit people who were facing difficulties just because the authorities were not performing their duties effectively in the wake of the natural calamity.

Petitioner recalls suo motu taken in wake of 2010 calamity, wants court to demand details of rescue work done by provincial govt

He also sought stern legal action against those who had failed to deter the recurrence of the flood-induced devastation. He pleaded that due to the heavy monsoon rains, Sanghar, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Benazirabad, Sukkur, Lar­kana, Badin and other areas of Sindh have been submerged. Environmental agencies had already warned about the heavy showers before the monsoon, he said.

The petitioner recalled the 2010 floods, after which the apex court had also taken suo motu notice on a letter sent by late Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim and Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali regarding ‘unauthorised diversion’ of floodwaters. In its detailed decision, which was reported in 2011, the court issued a number of directions to the government for the rehabilitation, protection of life, liberty and properties as well as the compensation to the people of the affected areas due to the floods.

He highlighted that flood and rainwater could not be drained due to the “illegal, unlawful” constructions on the natural flow of water in several areas, but no action had been taken against such structures and encroachers. Since 2010, no work has ever been done to streamline the floor passage, drainage or the development of the bank, he claimed, alleging that the provincial administration gave tenders to their ‘favourite agents’ to plunder billions without any work done on ground.

The ruling party in Sindh had been holding the reigns for the past 15 years but no constructive work had ever been made to properly drain floodwater, the petitioner claimed. He said people openly complained they had not been visited by any representative of the provincial or the federal agency to provide relief goods.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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