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 heatwave which had claimed lot of lives last year.” The chief minister stated this while presiding over a meeting regarding forthcoming heatwave, its impact and precautionary measures to avoid causalities at the CM House on Monday. He said that he was still feeling the pain of last year’s heatwave, 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, adding he was surprised to know that temperature in the metropolis on that day was 42 while it was 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 a dire need to publicise the precautionary measures tremendously to enable the people to adopt necessary measures in case of emergency,” he observed. Karachi Commissioner Asif Hyder Shah said he had held a number of meetings with K-electric authorities. They have up graded 58 feeders and installed 1,100 new PMTs. In the city, seven emergency centres 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 while the KE has assured that there would be no load shedding on the pumping stations,” he added. 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 heatwave season. Principal secretary to CM Almauddin Bullo floated the idea to arrange artificial rain during the heatwave 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 departments concerned 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 1,000 points including 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 centres are being established with one or two doctor and necessary paramedical staff to deal with heatwave patients in the city. The location of the district-wise centres would be publicised through media. There are more than 58 health facilities, including some private which have agreed to dedicate 1,800 beds in the city. 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 has already held meetings with Edhi, Chippa and other social organisations in this regard. They would voluntarily provide dedicated service. The chief minister ordered to install 100 more water tanks from where people can take water to their homes. He directed all the commissioners to replicate the precautionary measures being taken in the city 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, Finance Secretary Sohail Rajput, Health Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, Karachi Commissioner Karachi Asif Hyder Shah, Hyderabad Commissioner Qazi Shahid Parvaiz, Mirpurkhas Commissioner Shafiq Mahesar, Larkana Commissioner Akbar Leghari, Sukkur Commissioner Abbas Baloch, Karachi Administrator Laiq Ahmed and representatives of social orgnaisations.