As many as 18 districts out of 36 districts in Punjab have been declared calamity-hit after various crops spreading over thousands of hectors land have been destroyed in the recent rains. According to official sources, agriculture produce is expected to be lowered by 33 percent of its target this year, roads and highway infrastructure has been destroyed while adequate availability of fodder for cattle will also be severely affected. The Punjab government has allocated Rs 1.8 billion to start relief activities in the worst-hit areas and the government officials have been put on high alert to speed up the relief work. It is not the first time that natural calamity has destroyed agricultural and industrial infrastructure of the country but this has been happening for the last many decades. The half-hearted government steps could never change the fate of the people who suffer from natural calamities every year. There are several countries in the world which suffer floods and earthquakes, but perfect arrangements are made in developed countries to avoid collateral damage. The people in the third world nations, like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are always prone to face hostile atmospheric situations as it was a fait accompli and they are pushed back thousands miles away from the road of progress and prosperity. Pakistan is an agricultural economy and there is need to develop infrastructure to avoid catastrophes. Every problem has a solution and the best way is to turn problems into opportunities and failures into successes. There are several suitable geographical locations in Punjab and Sindh where water reservoirs can be built to collect rainwater and use it for agricultural purpose. But problem is that — maybe we lack vision — lack trust in our civilian institutions — or we are caught unprepared every year due to lethargic bureaucratic attitude. The government officials are put on high alert in every emergency situation, but they are ignored as faceless entities to live and work in a monotonous environment.
There is a need to run official business as a private enterprise and motivate the employees by giving them weekly and monthly targets – and of course incentives. Last but not the least, the participants of the sit-ins in Islamabad should postpone their protests and gird up to help the flood victims in the calamity-hit areas. It will be a big revolution and change if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri change their attitude keeping in view the current situation in the country.