KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has directed the health, local government and district administration all over Sindh to take concrete measures to avoid causalities during the forthcoming heat wave. “It is our responsibility to take all out efforts to save people from the forthcoming heat wave which had claimed lot of lives last year.”
He said this while presiding over a meeting regarding forthcoming heat wave, its impact and precautionary measures to avoid causalities here at the CM House today.
He said that he was still feeling the pain of last year’s heat wave which had swallowed many lives. “Still I remember last year on June 1, I was in Larkana when told that 56 people had died because of sever heat stroke – I could not believe it, he said and added that he was surprised to know that temperature in Karachi on that day was 42 while it was at 48 in Larkana. “It was unusual in Karachi – humidity was on the rise and wind speed was low therefore, it affected people badly,” he said.
The chief minister said that the health facilities available in the city and in other districts must be equipped with necessary gadgets and medicines. There is dire need to publicize the precautionary measures tremendously to enable the people to adopt necessary measures in case of emergency.
Commissioner Karachi Asif Hyder Shah said that heat wave affects badly between 12 noon to 4pm. He added that on the instructions of the chief minister he had held a number of meetings with K-electric authorities. They have up-gradation 58 feeders and installed 1100 new PMTs. In the city seven emergency centers to handle the breakdown have been set up at the officers of all Deputy Commissioners and one in the commissioner House. The KWSB has upgraded its Dhabeji pumping station. The KE has assured that there would be no load shedding on the pumping stations.
On the suggestion of the Commissioner, the chief minister directed local government department to disconnect power connection of all the billboards in their areas so that eight to 10 percent electricity could be saved for the citizens during heat wave season.
Principal Secretary to CM Almauddin Bullo floated the idea to arrange artifical rain during the heat wave season which would result in reduction of temperature considerably and would have positive impact on the overall weather in the city. However, the chair observed that the concerned departments should examine this idea keeping in view the environmental impact and applicability in the city.
The meeting was told that the Karachi administration has identified 1000 points such as petrol pumps, bus stands, roundabouts and market places where drinking water would be made available. The mapping of health facilities have also been done to facilitate ambulances to transport affected people in a minimum time.
It was disclosed that 170 first response centers are being established with one or two doctor and necessary para medical staff to deal with heat wave patients in the city. The location of the district-wise centers would be publicized through media. There are more than 58 health facilities, including some private which have agreed to dedicate 1800 beds in the city. The JPMC can also increase bed facilities from 300 to 500. On the Super Highway Baqai hospital has also agreed to dedicate 50-bed facilities for heat wave patients.
The meeting was told that there were 800 ambulances which can transport patients to the nearest health facility. Apart from it there are 126 other ambulances which are like mobile dispensaries. The commissioner Karachi has already held meetings with Edhi, Chippa and other social organization whiich provide ambulance services. They would voluntarily provide dedicated service.
The water starved areas of the city were also discussed such as Baldia, Korangi, Nasir Hotel and such other areas where 180 awami water tanks have been installed. The chief minister ordered to isnall 100 more water tanks from where people can take water to their homes.
The chief minister directed all the commissioners to replicate the precautionary measures being taken in Karachi in their respective divisions.
Those who attended the meeting include provincial ministers Syed Murad Shah, Jam Khan Shoro, Ali Hassan Hingorjo, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Secretary Health Saeed Mangnijo, Commissioners, Karachi Asif Hyder Shah, Hyderabad Qazi Shahid Parvaiz, Mirpurkhas Shafiq Mahesar, Larkana Akbar Leghari, Sukkur Abbas Baloch, Administrator Karachi Laiq Ahmed, MD Water, Ramzan Chippa and representatives of Edhi.