March 10 , 2017
PM vows to make rural areas of Sindh better than Punjab’s cities
Says federal govt to resolve provincial problems; announces 500-bed hospital, launch of health cards scheme, construction of seawall to stop erosion as well as roads, water supply and sanitation
THATTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday criticised the Sindh government for failing to address the problems relating to basic amenities and services to the people and vowed to bring modern basic facilities for the province’s neglected rural areas. The prime minister vowed to make the rural areas of Sindh better than the cities of Punjab.
He said the federal government would address the deprivation of Sindh by spending billions of rupees on water, roads, gas and health projects, while promising 'reconstruction' of the province to provide better facilities to the people.
Addressing a huge public rally in Makli, Thatta, the prime minister announced various projects for the area and censured the provincial governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for their refusal to become part of the health card scheme.
“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 be its part,” he lamented. “I’m announcing here in Thatta that we will issue health cards to the people, whether or not the provincial government plays its part,” said the prime minister. The move also covers the districts of Sujawal and Tando Mohammad Khan.
He said the federal government had already launched the health 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 versions.
Nawaz also announced construction of a 500-bed hospital in Thatta, as well as provision of electricity and natural gas for the districts. "I do what I say. I am not one of those who listen to demands and forgets. I am here with my entire team to deliver," the prime minister said.
Nawaz on the occasion announced construction of a seawall in Thatta, Sujawal and Badin districts in order to help the locals stave off coastal erosion. He said it would have a long-term positive impact for the entire region, adding that he had already directed a feasibility study for the project.
The prime minister also directed the National Highway Authority for the construction of Gharro-Keti Bandar Road and announced to release Rs500 million for the project. He said funds for construction of 50 kilometres of farm-to-market roads would also be provided by the federal government. He also announced Rs200 million each for Thatta and Sujawal and to cater to their road, sanitation and sewerage systems.
The prime minister, who was earlier presented a long list of problems faced by the people and demands, said although it was the duty of the provincial government to address these issues, the federal government would be pleased to fund the development projects for the people of Sindh.
Nawaz told the charged crowd that he was very happy to be amongst his people. He added that he had deep love and respect for the Sindhi people, particularly those of Thatta, Sujawal and adjoining areas, and vowed to pay back their love.
The event was attended among others by Sindh Governor Zubair Ahmed, Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, Adviser to Prime Minister Jam Mashooq, PML-N provincial chapter president Ismail Rahu and parliamentarians.
Local PML-N leader Shafqat Shah Shirazi welcomed the prime minister and said the people of Sindh loved and pinned hopes on him. He said the people of the area were facing serious issues that were hampering progress in the area of Sujawal and Thatta.
He said thousands of acres of agricultural land was being lost due to sea erosion and demanded construction of a dam. He also demanded better road network to link the area with the rest of the province.
Shirazi said one of the major issues was shortage of electricity and water for irrigation and drinking in Tando Mohammad Khan, Thatta and Sujawal.
He also demanded launch of Prime Minister’s Health Card Scheme as the people were very poor and lacked even the basic health facilities. Jam Awais assured the prime minister of full support of the people of Sindh in the next general election.
Ijaz 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 provide natural gas to the area.