Take ‘flood culprits’ to task: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed federal and provincial governments to implement the recommendations of the Flood Inquiry Commission in letter and spirit.According to the commission’s report, encroachments made by the influential people contributed to obstructions in the flow of water, resulting in flooding of many areas.The court ordered the concerned provincial chief secretaries to ensure strict action against the people the Inquiry Commission held responsible for negligence and submit its report to the Supreme Court Registrar within 15 days. The court ruled that the provincial chief secretaries were bound to submit their reports about the actions they took against the responsible people while implementing the Inquiry Commission’s recommendations.A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Tariq Parvez and Justice Amir Hani Muslim also directed publicising the text of the Flood Inquiry Commission’s recommendations in national and regional languages.During the hearing, the Chief Justice observed that the government was constitutionally bound to protect the lives and property of the people. The court lauded the efforts of the Inquiry Commission and positive role of the media. Later the court disposed off the matter.The Flood Inquiry Commission formed on the orders of the Supreme Court had submitted its final 200-page report in the Supreme Court on June 6, 2011, revealing that the negligence of Irrigation Departments of Sindh and Balochistan.

The report noted that 1,600 people lost their lives and thousands were injured in the last year’s floods. There was a colossal loss of Rs 855 billion to the national economy. Almost 4.5 million people lost their jobs, mostly in the farm sector and the Rabi crop for 2010-11 was badly damaged. Some 20 million people became IDPs (Internationally Displaced Persons) and 7 million students had their academic session interrupted, according to the report.The report took up the issue of availability of the Jacobabad airport for flood relief operations and confirmed presence there of a sizeable number of foreign personnel for some time, which created a perception of its inaccessibility for relief goods. But the foreign nationals were reportedly employed to train and assist Pakistan Air Force (PAF) staff for upgrading facilities before arrival of a new batch of F-16 planes, the report noted. – Nation