He said that deaths had happened “sub kay zamanon mein” (in previous governments and regimes as well) and that to single out the PPP government was unfair. “Whose names should I take in this,” he asked the members of the Sindh provincial assembly. He went on to say that one should not do politics over such things.
He said that he was away from Karachi for “2 days because of the birthday celebrations of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto” and that as soon as he heard of the heatwave deaths he passed on orders to his subordinate staff.
It bears worth noting here that so far 531 people have lost their lives in Karachi because of an unrelenting heatwave for the past several days.
Closing government offices, schools and colleges
The Sindh chief minister said that because of the heat emergency he was ordering closure of all government offices except those for essential services, schools and colleges. (It is worth remembering that education institutions across the province are already shut because of the summer vacations).
Heatstroke centres, fans and ice
Mr Shah said that he had asked the bureaucracy to take measures in this regard and that the Sindh Rangers had also undertaken some actions. He said NGOs “may also be doing something”. He said he had directed the deputy commissioners and commissioners to set up centres in their areas of jurisdiction to treat patients. However, this is something that government hospitals are already doing.
He said fans did not work in Sindh — “Phankon say baat nahin banti” — because of the intense heat. “As much as in possible, ice should be kept in such centres, where heatstroke victims are to be treated,” he added.
Disaster management authority must have done something…
The chief minister said that disaster managment authority also had a role to play and “it must have done something since as I told you I just returned to Karachi last night”.
He said that there was a disaster management centre and it had a number which had already appeared before in the newspapers and hence it had been widely publicized.
K-Electric’s owners acted like businessmen
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said that the owners of K-Electric had shown themselves to be businessmen and tried to exploit the situation. “I will try to get in touch with them [the owners] again and if need be “appropriate action” will be taken.
Lives lost have no price tag on them
“I think hardly ever in the history of Karachi have so many people lost their lives because of electricity failures or any other reason,” he said. He added that it was very regrettable that so many lives had been lost in Karachi and that even one life was priceless. He said Karachi had experienced temperatures of 43 and 45 Celsius but that “Sindh had temperatures of 48 and even higher”.
CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah speech in Sindh Assembly… by arynews