LAHORE - Taking a prompt notice of a news regarding drought in Cholistan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has sought an immediate report from Cholistan Development Authority, besides setting up a high-level committee to review the situation in the area.

The high-level committee would comprise provincial ministers, Iqbal Channer and Tanvir Aslam Malik, the chief secretary, the Board of Revenue senior member and secretaries of health, livestock, housing, planning & development and agriculture departments would be its members.

The chief minister directed the members of the committee to visit Cholistan and submit a report to him after reviewing and monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for Local Government and Law Rana Sanaullah Khan has said that situation in Cholistan is not that bad as would compel the people to migrate. Talking to media, here on Tuesday, he said that the people of Cholistan live in villages and water is also available for cultivation of crops.

He said that after cultivation of wheat local population take their cattle to the desert for grazing. He said in the months of March and April dwellers of Cholistan return from desert for harvesting their crops, however, this routine activity has been termed as migration in a media report which is totally baseless.

The Minister said that the government is keeping a watchful eye on the overall situation in Cholistan which is under control.

He said that on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, a special team comprising Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Health and others is visiting Cholistan and will submit its report to the Chief Minister within next 24 hours. Necessary steps will be taken in the light of the report, he added.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Punjab government has said that contrary to the situation prevailing in Thar, life is completely normal in Cholistan desert, where 5 per cent population is living at its own will.

He stated that Punjab government is closely monitoring Cholistan situation for the last two months. He said four teams left for Cholistan the same day for ensuring provision of relief to the people along with monitoring the situation. He said four medical camps and livestock camps had been established in Cholistan where medical staff is providing medical care and carrying out vaccination of livestock.

The spokesman said that two more medical camps would be established in Cholistan district inspite of the fact that the situation is absolutely normal. He further said that Cholistan Development Authority has started supply of potable water through tankers while free medicines and vaccination facilities are being provided to the residents of the area and their livestock through mobile medical and veterinary teams.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Bahawalpur Division Capt. (Retd.) Asadullah Khan has said that land has been allotted to Cholistanis in 400 villages and they are living on farming. In a briefing, he said, migration in Cholistan continues throughout the year with the change in weather pattern and no extraordinary event has taken place at all in Cholistan. He said supply of clean water to 5 per cent population living in Cholistan and provision of fodder to the livestock has already been ensured.

Meanwhile, on the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, provincial secretaries of different departments have also reached Bahawalpur and are visiting the desert and supervising welfare and development work through various teams of concerned departments.