The Supreme Court has asked the Sindh government to detail the steps it has taken for the rehabilitation of flood survivors and present a report within three weeks.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing of former parliamentarian Marvi Memon’s complaint on non-implementation of the flood inquiry commission’s recommendations on Monday.
Additional Advocate General (AAG) Sindh presented a report in compliance with the previous order issued by the bench. He submitted that the provincial government has been providing rations to flood survivors. A huge segment of the population in rural Sindh was affected by the recent floods, which has made it difficult for the government to provide relief, he added.
“The nation had to incur losses of billions of rupees in terms of crops and livestock, but the government is determined to provide relief to people drawing on available resources.”
In answer to the chief justice’s question on how much time was required for rehabilitating flood-affected people, the AAG said water stagnating in residential areas has to be drained first which will take approximately 45 days. The court directed that the flood inquiry commission’s recommendations be implemented in letter and spirit and adjourned the case for three weeks.
On a previous hearing, the chief justice had said, “Had the flood commission’s recommendations been implemented, Sindh would not have witnessed another disaster this monsoon.”
Memon had asked the apex court to direct the commission to inspect the dykes and expedite repairs before this year’s monsoon. The commission’s report had fixed responsibility on irrigation officials for breaches in dykes and declared that negligent and corrupt officials contributed to the loss of life and exacerbated the unprecedented devastation caused by the floods.
The former parliamentarian had petitioned the court to prosecute negligent officials with a custodial sentence in her petition filed under articles 187, 190 and 204 of the constitution. The commission had assessed that the floods last year inflicted a loss of Rs855 billion on the nation’s economy.