Forever lost in surveys?


Instead of taking immediate measures to ensure provision of food to the displaced people in the six districts of lower Sindh adversely affected by rains, the provincial government has ordered survey of the affected areas so as to ascertain the facts and figures of the losses.
The rain-hit people, who were hoping that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani would make an announcement regarding their rehabilitation and compensation, were annoyed by Gilani’s visit because, according to the relief announced, each affectee would receive only Rs 12.
National Assembly Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza who hails from the most-affected district, Badin, has also expressed serious concerns over the measures being taken by the authorities to facilitate the rain-hit people.
Heavy rains flooded dozens of villages and displaced over 2.5 million people in Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tando Muhammad Khan, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Tando Allahyar. However, due to negligence of the irrigation authorities, the breaches in the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) have added to the miseries of the displaced people.
Almost all land in Badin has been inundated, whereas water has also entered Mangrio and Malkani after a 250-foot wide breach occurred at the LBOD at Tando Bago on Wednesday afternoon.
Pakistan Army has established a rescue camp in Shadi Larj where it is trying to provide all possible aid to the displaced people. Moreover, Pakistan Navy personnel are also rescuing people.
According to an estimate, standing crops of rice, sugarcane, chillies and cotton were destroyed by the recent rains, causing a loss of Rs 15 billion. Besides, thousands of acres of agricultural lands were ruined. The ruined agricultural lands include 15,400 acres in Mirpurkhas; 10,000 acres in Tharparkar; 3,000 acres in Tando Muhammad Khan; 2,900 acres in Tando Allahyar; and 13,000 acres in Badin.
Standing crops worth billions of rupees in these districts were destroyed, including cotton crop on 8,000 acres in Mirpurkhas; 4,600 in Tharparkar; 2,290 acres in Tando Muhammad Khan; and 3,400 acres in Badin.
Besides, the crops of rice and sugarcane on thousands of acres were also destroyed, and the exact figures would be ascertained after the survey is completed by the field officers of the revenue and agriculture departments.