‘Mirpurkhas needs Rs 2 billion’

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Pakistan People’s Party MNA and PPP Mirprkhas President Mir Munawar Ali Khan Talpur on Monday demanded the Sindh government and federal government announce Rs 2 billion grant for district Mirpurkhas, badly flooded due to the Lower Badin Outfall Drain (LBOD) breaches.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, he said irrigation water was diverted into the LBOD drains whose capacity was less than the actual water flow due to which breaches developed, causing devastation across the district.
He said current grants were insufficient and more relief goods, rations and essential items were required. He blamed the LBOD drain for devastating, rather than benefiting cultivators by reducing water logging and salinity.
He said the LBOD project had been handed over to the irrigation department eleven years ago but officials concerned were irresponsible and the drain had not been de-silted. He said fewer officials actually worked compared to the on-paper staff assigned to the LOBD.
He said the officials concerned had earlier let people established illegal encroachments on the path of the Puran Nullah, the natural drain for rain water. He said the encroachments on the Puran Nullah near Digri and Jhuddo town should be removed without delay.
He said hundreds of thousands of people had been displaced and were living in makeshift tents and under open skies while 28,000 flood victims were living in relief camps. He said the government should rehabilitate the Puran Nullah and remove illegal encroachments on it and ensure the desilting of the Puran Shakh fed by the Jamrao Canal and strengthen the LBOD. He said the small pipes on the LBOD should be removed and replaced by small bridges. He said a 12 kilometer drain from Jhuddo town the to spinal drain must be dug immediately to drain the stagnant rainy and saline water from Taluka Jhuddo, Digri , Mirpurkhas and Kot Ghulam Mohammad.
He said stagnant, standing water meant education had been affected since schools in affected talukas remained closed. He said cotton, Mango orchards, chili, sugar cane, onion seed and vegetable field had been destroyed due to the floods.
He said the federal government should write off agricultural loan to affected farmers growers and provide them wheat seeds. He said relief ration distribution committees’ setup on union council level were distributing relief goods among affected people without any discrimination.