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Thar package

Addressing a largely attended public meeting in Chhahhro Prime Minister Imran Khan announced health package for the hapless Tharies who have been constantly neglected by the PPP feudal dominated provincial governments. It include opening of two mobile clinics. Issuance of health cards of 72000 rupees payment capacity each 112000 families and 100 Reverse Osmosis plants for the provision of clean drinking water.  Over the past 10 years about five thousands children died because of malnutrition and diseases.

In the past three years 1300 children have died but the provincial government did not budge. Health related measures remained confined to adhoc measures with no permanent solution in sight. On the contrary billions of rupees were spent on Sindh cultural festival in 2017. In a reaction to the Prime Minister‘s curtain razor about the plight of Tharis’ PPP senior leader Senator Sherry Rehman drew a parallel between Thar and Kohistan district of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. The register of political science cannot digest the farfetched conceit of Metaphysical poetry. In terms of social sector infrastructure Kohistan is much better than Thar Health, education and drinking water facilities at the district and sub divisional level are at par with other districts of province. Most importantly, oppressive feudal dominated culture is non-existent notwithstanding the primitive tribal culture which is eroding.

The relief measures which are announced by the Prime Minister fall within the domain of Sindh provincial government. In Khyber Pukhtunkhwa it was the provincial government that entered into agreement with State Life Insurance Company to make payment to the government and private hospitals on health cards. Will PPP government in Sindh be willing to implement the healthcare under Insaf health card? Likewise, keeping operational the Reverse Osmosis will be the responsibility of Sindh government. The Research Osmosis plants set up by the Sindh government in its previous term are not operational for various reasons.

Reverse Osmosis is a technology that desalinates water to make it safe for drinking. An average capacity plant requires 6 KHW of electricity to clean one cubic meter of water. Provision of electricity to Thar from coal based thermal power plants will take time. Installation of self-sustaining solar grids will be inevitable to provide power to these plants. Another problem with Reverse Osmosis technologies is that is their efficiency and waste management which can be minimized by incorporating zero waste Reverse Osmosis technologies. That is why the experts and political analysts are not optimistic about the fast-track implementation of the Thar package by the provincial bureaucracy.