Thar peo­ple to get cards for re­ceiv­ing fi­nan­cial help

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

HYDERABAD—Pak­istan Peo­ples Party’s se­na­tor Taj Hy­der has said that Sindh gov­ern­ment to is­sue Thar card for ex­tend­ing fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to peo­ple of Tharparkar district as it was es­ti­mated that over 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple of the south-eastern desert district were liv­ing below poverty line with­out any sus­tain­able source of liveli­hood.

He was ad­dress­ing at Thar Con­fer­ence, held here on Thurs­day to de­lib­er­ate upon is­sues, chal­lenges and con­ceive a way for­ward for fu­ture in­ter­ven­tions un­der the aus­pices of Sami Foun­da­tion, Na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian Net­work (NHN) and Ma­rooara Co­or­di­na­tion Coun­cil Net­work.

Taj Hy­der said that Sindh gov­ern­ment has taken multi-pronged mea­sures to ad­dress the is­sues and chal­lenges be­ing en­coun­tered by Thari peo­ple in Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, Wa­ter Sup­ply, live stock and other sec­tors but still it re­quired more to do to fill all the gapes ex­ist­ing in Hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tion in Thar.

He told that as an im­me­di­ate re­sponse peo­ple of Tharparkar were provided free wheat and its ninth round was con­tinue while 11,86,000 sacks of 100 kilo­gram wheat has been dis­trib­uted among the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion so far. He said that peo­ple do not need wheat only but they were in need of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to meet their other re­quire­ments as well and they had to sell the wheat to meet them.

Re­al­iz­ing the facts, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment has de­cided to is­sue Thar Card to the res­i­dents of Tharparkar, he in­formed adding that a sur­vey would be con­ducted in this re­gard to as­cer­tain the num­ber of de­serv­ing peo­ple in need of im­me­di­ate fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance.

He fur­ther told that mis­con­cep­tions re­gard­ing qual­ity of Thar coal were dis­pelled and now dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies were com­ing with projects of min­ing and power gen­er­a­tion. Thar coal was an im­por­tant project which would pro­duce 3.8 mil­lion tons coal per year in its first phase and the ca­pac­ity would en­hance af­ter ward, he said and in­formed that pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment was work­ing on a project of rail­way track.

In first phase rail­way track would be laid down from Is­lamkot to Badin and in sec­ond phase it would be ex­tended to Keti Ban­dar, he said. They rail­way track would be uti­lized for trans­porta­tion of mined coal to other ar­eas of the coun­try and even abroad for use in power gen­er­a­tion, he in­formed.

He termed the dis­place­ment of lo­cal pop­u­la­tion due to coal projects an im­por­tant is­sue of con­cern and em­pha­sized the need of con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal pop­u­la­tion to fi­nal­ize the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion plan. He told model vil­lages were be­ing set to pro­vide shel­ter to dis­placed peo­ple and ev­ery ef­fort was be­ing made to en­sure pro­vi­sion of ba­sic ameni­ties there ac­cord­ing to the will of the peo­ple.

Elab­o­rat­ing upon is­sue of so­lar pow­ered re­verse os­mo­sis plants he in­formed that there were 150 bil­lion acre feet un­der ground wa­ter de­posits es­ti­mated in Thar and gov­ern­ment has de­cided to uti­lize the waste de­posits for ben­e­fit of the Thari peo­ple. There were 1000 RO plants to be in­stalled with an es­ti­mated cost of Rs 7 bil­lion in dif­fer­ent wa­ter de­fi­cient ar­eas of Tharparakar. Dif­fer­ent prob­lems in­clud­ing avail­abil­ity of skilled op­er­a­tors, sup­port in­fra­struc­ture, proper in­stal­la­tion and op­er­a­tion of plants were de­tected dur­ing op­er­a­tion of RO plants in­stalled ear­lier and those would be ad­dressed be­fore in­stalling more RO plants, he said and in­formed that in com­ing six months 250 more RO plants would be made op­er­a­tional.

He said there was lim­ited ca­pac­ity to store de­sali­nated wa­ter so ad­di­tional wa­ter was be­ing used to ir­ri­gate lands as ad­di­tional wa­ter could be used to ir­ri­gate 20 acres of land around the plant, some wa­ter was be­ing provided to “Gao Char ar­eas”ar­eas re­served for an­i­mal grass­ing.

Taj Hy­der fur­ther said that gov­ern­ment had ear­lier de­cided to con­struct a canal for dis­posal of 34 cusec saline wa­ter to be ex­tracted due to min­ing but a Dubai based Bio-Saline agri­cul­ture firm has sug­gested that saline wa­ter could also be used for dif­fer­ent pur­poses in­clud­ing agri­cul­ture and fish farm­ing in Thar. He said the wa­ter could ir­ri­gate 3000 acres of land.

Health was another se­ri­ous is­sue of con­cern in Tharparkar as de­spite pro­vi­sion of re­sources and mea­sures there were de­fi­cien­cies in health sec­tor, he said adding that peo­ple have lim­ited re­sources for health while doc­tors were re­luc­tant to stay in Tharparkar. Gov­ern­ment was framing a strat­egy to ad­dress the is­sues while a Sindh med­i­cal care pro­gram of Rs 5 bil­lion was also ap­proved in the re­gard, he told.—APP

HYDERABAD: PPP leader Taj Haider, Gayan Chand, Sule­man G Abro and oth­ers at Thar Con­fer­ence 2016.

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