KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Monday repudiated reports about government’s negligence as well as reports that a large number of children died due to hunger and starvation in drought-hit Tharparkar district.

The visibly charged Qaim Ali Shah argued that not even a single child or a person died of hunger in Thar. They died because of poverty. Can anybody name even a single person? Provide me details if there are any,” stressed the octogenarian provincial chief executive in his fiery speech on the floor of Sindh Assembly. He was responding to the media criticism in handling the deteriorating famine conditions of Tharparkar district.

Recounting the relief works carried out by his government in the desert district, he said he had visited Tharparkar nine times and personally monitored the relief works. He claimed that the PPP-led Sindh government had taken all out measures for famine-hit Thar. One can compare the hospitals of Thar with the hospitals of other cities of the province. “We did whatever we could. We appointed male and female doctors in government hospitals in far-flung areas,” the emotionally charged Qaim said.

Go and see the Mithi Town of Tharparkar and compare it with any developed city of Sindh, he claimed. “We have announced an aid package for Thar, constructed roads and infrastructures there and a scheme of Rs2 billion which will complete this year,” he stressed, adding 1,000 houses were provided with electricity.

He said a road leading to Islamkot was being constructed with a cost of Rs10 billion. It was the PPP which started work on coal reservoir. “More than 80 Reverse Osmosis plants are functional in Thar and 150 more would be made functional till June next year.” The Sindh government has done its best to provide food and shelter to the people. “I once again claim that no one died due to hunger,” he maintained. Those who are taking undue advantage and playing with the galleries did not know Kacho Thar where his government has done a lot for the people of the area. The lawmakers must go there and witness themselves before criticising the government, he said.

Qaim said water supply line in Thar would be repaired till June and more towns would be provided with drinking water soon. The chief minister said a committee of lawmakers could be formed to investigate reports of government’s negligence in taking measures of Tharparkar. “We will tender apology if our laxity proved,” he added. He said it was the PPP government which started producing electricity through windmills and hoped that 400 to 500 megawatt of electricity would be added in the national grid soon.

Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro introduced 12 government bills in the House, which include The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (Sindh Administration) Bill, 2014, The Sindh Epidemic Diseases Bill, 2014, The Sindh Eye Surgery (Restriction) Bill, 2014, The Sindh Tuberculosis Notification Bill, 2014, The Sindh Physiotherapy Council Bill, 2014, The Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The other bills included The Sindh Allopathic System Prevention of Misuse) Bill, 2014, The Sindh Mass Transit Authority Bill, 2014, The Sindh Senior Citizens Welfare Bill, 2014, The Sindh Pharmacy Council Bill, 2014, The Sindh Medical and Dental Council Bill 2014 and The Sindh Nursing Council Bill 2014.

The House unanimously passed a resolution to take precaution to mitigate threat of Ebola Virus threat. The resolution of PPP member Ghazala Sayal said, “This Assembly resolves and recommends to the government of Sindh to take precautionary measures to mitigate the threat of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), establish Isolation Wards to quarantine Ebola patients, establish Ebola Screening Desk and to approach federal government to set up such desk at major airports, railway stations and other places in the country.

It also recommends the government to organise awareness sessions for the medical fraternity to impart information on how can people protect themselves from the deadly Ebola Virus.”

The House admitted the adjournment motion of opposition leader Sheharyar Mehar for discussion regarding law and order situation which is getting worst from bad everyday. The House will discuss on the motion on Wednesday. The House referred the privilege motion of MQM member Khalid Ahmed to the Standing Committee of privilege with terms of reference to look as breach has committed.

The House which called in order by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at 11:30 noon carried question hours of labour department. After completion of agenda, Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza who was chairing the House at that time adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday (today) morning.