Opposition lawmakers raise doubts about flood relief activities

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Opposition lawmakers in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh lamented the alleged lack of transparency and accountability in the distribution of relief goods among the victims of the recent floods.They were taking part in the second round of debate in the House on the recent disaster in the province due to unprecedented floods and heavy monsoon rains.

The opposition legislators said the people displaced due to the calamity should not have to wait helplessly in long queues for hours to get essential relief goods when plane after plane bringing emergency aid from friendly countries landed at the Karachi airport for several days immediately after the floods.

They urged the provincial government to share with the PA the details of their plans, if any, to avert such large-scale devastation in the province in future.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement MPA Mangla Sharma said it is true that no human effort can avoid such a grave natural calamity as the one that hit Sindh recently, but proper plans can be made by the relevant authorities to minimise human and material losses as the result of heavy rains and floods.She said the Sindh government is under an obligation to prove that the relief goods it has provided have reached bona fide flood victims in the province.

She also said the government should assure the House that a transparent and accountable system has been put in place to use local and foreign aid to the maximum benefit of the disaster-hit people.Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Shahryar Khan Mahar lamented that the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has failed to protect a large part of the province from devastation after the floods despite being in power for the past 14 years.

He said that the opposition lawmakers should have been invited to the official meetings that were held to oversee the relief and rehabilitation activities for the flood victims in the province.

He expressed remorse that the officials of the provincial government providing essential services have not even spared the resources and relief goods provided for the flood victims, accusing the officials of embezzling them for personal gains.

He mentioned the recent case of deputy commissioners posted in the province who are allegedly involved in a multimillion-rupee motorway land scam, saying that it shows there is no system of checks and balances to hold key officials accountable for their corrupt practices.

He made the suggestion that the committees formed by the Sindh government to provide relief goods to and rehabilitate the calamity-hit people should also include opposition legislators.Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Arsalan Taj claimed that the flood relief funds of the province have been misappropriated. He also claimed that a similar corruption had taken place during the coronavirus emergency. He further claimed that the lawmakers of the ruling PPP have not been seen anywhere actively participating in the relief activities after the floods in the province.