THATTA - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday announced launch of a new phase of development in Sindh and vowed to bring modern basic facilities for its neglected rural areas.

Addressing a large public gathering here, the prime minister announced a number of development projects for Thatta, Sajawal and Tando Mohammad Khan aimed at building better road network, healthcare facilities and provision of electricity and natural gas.

He said the federal government would spend Rs1.1 billion for the development of these areas. He said though it was the duty of provincial government to provide basic facilities, however it would be his privilege to serve his people, across the country.

The prime minister vowed ‘reconstruction’ of the province to provide better facilities to the people.

He announced construction of a 500-bed hospital in Thatta, launch of his healthcare card scheme for Thatta, Sajawal and Tando Mohammad Khan, provision of electricity and natural gas for district Sajawal and Thatta.

“I do what I say. I am not one of those who listen to demands and forget. I am here with my entire team, to deliver,” the prime minister said.

He said the federal government had already launched its Health Care Card Scheme in Islamabad Capital Territory, Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA and Balochistan, however the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said they would launch their own healthcare schemes.

The prime minister slammed the provincial government for not resolving the issues being faced by the people of Sindh. “We initiated the health card scheme which is the need of the hour but I’m saddened to know that the provincial government refused to play its part,” he lamented.

He, however, announced the scheme for the poor people of Thatta, Sajawal and Tando Mohammad Khan so that they could get free medical treatment.

He, referring to the issue of land erosion by the sea, announced construction of a protection dam for Thatta, Sajawal and Badin and said it would have long-term positive impact for the entire region, adding he had already directed a feasibility study for the project.

The prime minister also directed the National Highway Authority for construction of Gharro-Keti Bandar Road and announced release of Rs 500 million for the project.

He said funds for construction of 50 kms of farm-to-city roads would also be provided by the federal government.

He also announced Rs 200 million each for Thatta and Sajawal to cater for their road, sanitation and sewerage systems.

Nawaz Sharif who was earlier presented a long list of demands and issues confronting the people, said it was the duty of provincial government to address these issues, however, the federal government would be pleased to fund the development projects for the people of Sindh.

During his address the large gathering of enthusiastic workers of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) continued to chant welcome slogans throughout the event and waved the green party flag.

The venue continued to reverberate with the slogans of “dekho dekho qon aya - shaer aya, shaer aya.”

The prime minister said he was very happy to be amongst his people. He said he loved them as much as they loved him, adding he had deep love and respect for the Sindhi people and particularly those of Thatta, Sajawal and adjoining areas and vowed to pay back their love.

He was also very appreciative of the workers of the PML-N Youth and other wings.

Amidst a thunderous applause the prime minister announced that the demands put in by Shirazi brothers would be met.

Maintaining the Sindhi tradition, the prime minister was presented a hand-printed Ajrak.

The event was attended among others by Sindh Governor Zubair Ahmed, Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, Adviser to Prime Minister Jam Mashooq, Mohammad Ismail Rahu, President PML-N Sindh, and parliamentarians.

Syed Shafqat Shirazi welcomed the prime minister and said the people of Sindh loved him. He said the people of the area were facing serious issues that were hampering progress also in the area of Sajawal and Thatta. He said the people had high hopes from the prime minister.

He said thousands of acres of agricultural land was being lost to the sea due to erosion and demanded construction of a dam. He also demanded better road network to link the area to rest of the province.

Shirazi said one of the major issues was shortage of electricity and water for irrigation and drinking for Tando Mohammad Khan, Thatta and Sajawal.

He also demanded launch of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Health Card Scheme as the people were very poor and lacked even basic health facilities.

Jam Awais assured the prime minister of full support of the people of Sindh in the next general election.

Syed Ijaz Ali Shah Shirazi said the people of the area were very poor and faced unemployment and hardships. He urged the government to set up industrial units and provision of natural gas for the area.