Balochistan PA asks centre to declare drought-hit areas as calamity affected

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By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA: The Baloch­istan Assembly through a unanimously adopted resolution on Monday demanded of the federal government to declare all drought-stricken areas in the province as calamity affected. It also urged the central government to immediately announce a relief package for farmers in the province who were badly affected by the worsening situation.

The resolution was moved by Sanaullah Baloch of Balochistan National Party-Mengal soon after the provincial assembly’s session, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhel, began.

Speaking on the resolution, Mr Baloch said that according to international institutions Balochis­tan had been facing drought-like situation for long. In view of the worsening situation the province should be declare calamity affected and the federal government should announce a relief package for farmers of the province.

Urges federal government to announce relief package for farmers

He said because of the devastating state of the Balochistan’s economy the federal government should also announce other relief packages for the province, such as relaxation in the payment of electricity dues and agriculture loans for farmers.

He also called for reduction in the loadshedding hours, saying that at least 18-hour a day power should be provided to the province’s agriculture sector.

The resolution wanted the federal government to appeal international donor agencies to provide financial assistance and 300 solar tube wells to Balochistan

Provincial Minister for Information and High Education Mir Zahoor Buledi said that the water crisis in the country, particularly in Balochistan, was now at an alarming level. He said the provincial government was taking some measures on an emergency basis to improve the situation.

Nasrullah Khan Zerey of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said that environmental experts had urged the provincial government to build small dams in Quetta. The previous government had proposed 200 small dams in hills in adjacent areas of the city, he added.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018

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