Pakistan

Govt’s cloud seeding plan nothing but a ‘magic trick’

We have lost over 750 of our compatriots in last few days-The heatwave deaths in Karachi and other cities of Sindh. The lives of most of them could have been saved if we had an efficient healthcare system and public health awareness campaigns to educate the citizens what to do in case of sunstroke , which is a common health concern in searing summers in our part of the world.

The summers have become hotter and scorching due to the changing patterns of weather and climate change in Pakistan.

In India from mid-April till the end of May this year, nearly 2,200 people were killed by the heat − 1,636 of them in Andhra Pradesh, the worst-affected southern state of the country. The death toll figure is much higher than normal 1000 heat-related deaths in entire India in the month of May.

Recently in the beginning of June around 18 pilgrims visiting the shrine city of Sehwan died of the heatwave. It was a natural warning for us what will be ahead for us during the soaring temperatures in this southern part of Pakistan. It was a forewarning for the ongoing public health disaster aggravated by the long hours of power outages in Karachi and some other cities of Sindh province- A huge price we have paid with hundreds of the lives of our poor compatriots for lack of attention of the people in power and their misconceived priorities.

We have a state of mind according to which we deny substantial facts and figures and close our eyes to dream an imaginative solution of our hard problems. We don’t learn lessons from the hard facts. We imagine a noval way seeking solution of chronic problems.

The high ups at government departments and in public life give an impression of understanding the severity of the issue and seeking an immediate solution with a ‘magic trick’.

The government is now mulling the use of cloud seeding technology with an aim to generate artificial rainfall in parts of Sindh witnessing an intense heatwave. A high up, according to press reports, said that the idea would not be possible before July 1 due to technical reasons.

In cloud seeding technology, a rocket propelled by sugar is fired at the clouds to generate rains.

An official of the metreological office confirmed that a decision on the subject has not been made yet and talks are under way. He, however, said that the system is not only costly but also has ‘unforeseen environmental effects’.

Instead of changing our priorities to give more attention to the healthcare system with generous funding from the public sector to enable it to address the health emergencies more effectively. We are following to seek solutions with ‘magic tricks’.

The ‘fantastic scheme’ will definitely attract the attention of the general public for a few days as a magical solution of our chronic problems and will be buried with the passing time, like several other magic solutions in the past.

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