SC directs survey of Sind province to identify floods devastations

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a certificate submitted by the Sind irrigation Secretary over implementation on the recommendations of Flood Commission report and directed complete survey of the Sind province with regard to flash floods devastations.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing a case pertaining to implementation of the Flood Commission’s report.

The court sought a comprehensive report till March 20 and directed the Sind irrigation secretary that the report should mention magnitude of devastation, steps so far taken to avert such floods in future and the compensation paid to the affected people.

The court admonished the irrigation secretary for presenting false certificate and noted that no strategy was devised to avert such floods in future. The chief justice noted that the flash floods which hit the Sind and other provinces in 2010 had caused billion of rupees losses.

He said standing crops of the people had destroyed and live stock had also badly affected, besides houses in the area of ‘Kuchay’ had also been washed away. He said removal or shifting of illegal buildings was also a challenge.

He said seriousness of Sind government could be gauged from a false certificate, over the implementation of Flood Commission report, prepared by a clerk with full of grammatical errors and submitted in the apex court of the country.

The chief justice asked the irrigation secretary to take care of poor people instead of keeping the ministers happy to avert their anger. He said everyone knew who had illegally been occupying the lands in the area of Kuchay. He said due to the ineligibility of Sind government, Sakhar was near to drown during the 2010 floods and today too majority of lands were being occupied illegally.

To a court query, Sind irrigation secretary told the court that the provincial government had abolished 80 percent encroachments. He said there were small villages in the area of Kuchay. He said six villages were beyond the way of the river.

He said efforts were underway to clear the encroachments. Appearing on notice, the petitioner Marvi Memon, stated that no action had so far been taken against the land grabbers, landlords and encroachers. She said she was not satisfied with the certificates submitted by the Sind as well as other provincial government over implementation of Floods Commission report. The secretary then sough time for a fresh report, which the court granted.

The court again directed the federal and provincial governments to ensure implementation on the recommendations of Flood Commission’s report. The court directed the concerned authorities to make the Flood Commission’s report public. Marvi Memon had requested the court in Sept 2011 to order revival of the Flood Commission with a view to determining if the government had failed to carry out its Flood Commission recommendations.