The federal government has announced a one-billion-rupee relief package for those affected by drought in Tharparkar.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Mithi today to review the relief activities. He ordered strict action against those who‚ despite sufficient stock of wheat‚ did not distribute the commodity among the affected people.

The Prime Minister also visited a hospital in Mithi and inquired about the health of patients. He ordered the authorities to provide best medical facilities to patients.

Talking to Radio Pakistan‚ MNA Marvi Memon said the one billion rupees package‚ announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for drought affected people of Thar‚ could change their destiny for better.

Marvi Memon‚ who accompanied the prime minister‚ said Nawaz Sharif emphasized the need for proper utilization of the amount so that it reaches the needy.

She said the prime minister also wanted to take those to task who were guilty of negligence in assessing the drought situation and did not take any preventive measures.

She said if properly managed‚ the situation in Tharparkar can be overcome in six to eight weeks.

Taking part in the discussion‚ Director General Health Sindh Dr. Faiz ul Haq said arrangements for 40 beds have been made in Mithi hospital for treatment of the affected children.

He said all the union councils in Thar have started their mobile dispensaries. Haq said World Health Organization is also cooperating with the provincial government.

To a question‚ he said this year it rained only 30 per cent as compared to the past years‚ which caused drought-like situation.

Naseer Memon‚ Chief Executive Officer SPO‚ said there is no drought in Thar. Instead‚ he said‚ the district is faced with shortage of wheat and other food items.

He criticized the administrative failure of the provincial government and stressed the need for evovling better wheat distribution mechanism.

Haji Muzaffar Ali Shujra‚ a PPP politician‚ said deaths and diseases were caused by a severely cold weather in Thar. Though he admitted wheat supplies to Thar were delayed‚ he said media criticism of Sindh government over the deaths in Thar is unfair.

Analyst Amir Mandro said there were only four doctors for 2‚000 people in Thar. He said Sindh government should have declared Thar a drought-hit area last year when there were no rains up to August. He said that even now there are no relief camps in some areas.

Sohail Memon‚ a journalist from Tharparkar‚ said the government mismanaged the situation in Thar. He stressed the need for mobile dispensaries to attend the victims in far-off areas of the district.

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