‘No clash between federal, Sindh govts on Karachi airport attack’

KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah on Thursday said that there was no clash between federal and provincial governments on Karachi airport attack and both of them were on same page to take action against the culprits involved in the attack.Addressing to the participants of Monsoon 2014 Consultative Conference, organised by Provincial Disaster Management Authority at a local hotel on Wednesday, Qaim said that harsh statements on the eve of attack at Karachi airport were only replies of questions raised by the federal government; otherwise there was complete coordination between both administrations.“I was disappointed when Chaudhry Nisar visited Karachi after the attack and did not bother to meet provincial stakeholders on the issue,” he said.The chief minister said that a high-powered investigation committee was formed soon after the attack to ascertain the lapses, which provided terrorist a chance to carry out an attack on highly sensitive instalment. The chief minister termed the recent attack as worst of his kind he had witnessed in his entire life and said that proper retaliation from security forces saved the precious installations.Speaking on the issue of disaster management planning, the chief minister urged the concerned departments to complete their preparations for the monsoon season in order to avoid flood situation like 2010 and 2011. He urged people to join hands with Sindh government for rescue and rehabilitation of flood victims.He said that the province had faced massive flooding in 2010 which affected almost seven million people while after floods in 2011, the province had to look after nine million people.Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Rehabilitation, Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman, said that provincial government was taking steps to avoid flood situation in 2014. “On the direction of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari, Sindh government will bring legislation to remove zamindari bunds, which were a major cause of floods during last several years.” He also asked chief minister to form relief committees at district level to carry out relief activities in case of any flood in the province.Chief Secretary Sindh also addressed the participants and urged all departments to coordinate with each other to devise a joint strategy to counter the situation before and after floods.Director General PDMA Syed Salman Shah said that with consultation of all districts across the province, PDMA had devised a strategy in case of flood in 2014. “Under this strategy, PDMA has asked provincial government to provide Rs 20 million to each district in Sindh for relief activities, while relief stores will be established at Sukkur, Karachi and Hyderabad”, he said.The DG PDMA said that the Sindh government had already issued Rs 450 million for relief activities to PDMA, which would be sufficient to provide relief to 50,000 families.He said that District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) committees were formed in each district, which would be headed by deputy commissioners. “All goods at relief centres will be at the disposal of deputy commissioner after flood, who would be able to carry out relief activities in his concerned area,” he said.He said that there were chances of urban flooding in Karachi due to massive dumping of wastages in drainage system. “With unprecedented increase in Karachi population, the concerned departments were not able to enhance drainage system, thus affecting the discharge of water in monsoon season,” he said adding that CM Sindh had promised to issue funds to KMC for resolving these issues.The representative of Commissioner Karachi said that there were 3 river beds, thirteen big nullahs and 250 small drainage lines in the metropolis, which was insufficient to face floods.He said that in terms of long-term planning to resolve the issue, a mega drainage system was planned by the city authorities, however, removal of encroachments, imposition of ban on dumping wastage in nullahs and other several steps were taken to avoid flooding in the city.He said that a control room would be established at Commissioner office, where representatives of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, K-Electric and Sindh Building Control Authority would address any complaints in the city.Other commissioners from Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas also briefed the participants regarding measures taken by them for relief activities and material available and required by them for the rescue operation. The Pakistan Meteorological department officials said that there were chances of heavy rainfall in Sindh, however it would be 30 percent less than the previous year.Pakistan Navy official briefed the audience regarding their contingency plan for relief activities. PN official Agha Mumtaz said that operation Madad would be launched in case of floods in Sindh while an emergency response centre would be established at Coastal Headquarters to combat any emergency.Secretary Irrigation department shed a light on steps being taken to strengthen embankments along the rivers. He said that after 2010 floods, 76 schemes to strengthen embankments were launched and they had successfully completed 71 of them.

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