Nadra told to update data`Over 10.5 million Watan Card requests await verification`
KARACHI: National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Arshad Ali Hakeem told a meeting chaired by acting Chief Secretary Ghulam Ali Pasha that Nadra centres across the province had received as many as 18.8 million requests for the issuance of Watan Cards but only 8.3 million of them could be verified through the available database.
The issue was discussed in detail at the meeting held in the chief secretary office on Friday following widespread complaints received by Nadra, the provincial government and the Sindh chief minister’s inspection team regarding non-issuance of the cards to eligible people and the hardship they were facing in getting themselves registered with Nadra as eligible to receive financial aid through the cards.
Mr Pasha asked the Nadra chairman to upload the record of all remaining flood-hit union councils so that all eligible flood survivors were able to get Watan Cards and other facilities.
He stressed that the grievances of flood survivors regarding Watan Cards must be addressed at the earliest.
The grievances were highlighted by ministers, members of the provincial assembly and the chairman of the CM’s inspection team who visited various flood-hit areas in their respective constituencies recently.
The ministers and MPAs present at the meeting included Sassui Palijo, Agha Siraj Durrani, Ayaz Soomro, Imran Zafar Leghari, Fayyaz Butt and Agha Taimour Pathan. CMIT chairman Abdul Subhan Memon briefed the meeting about his team’s findings.
They expressed their dissatisfaction over the process of the issuance of Watan Cards with reference to the widespread complaints and said that they had observed a lack of relief efforts, insufficient number of Nadra centres to cater to such a large number of flood victims, an inadequate number of ATMs to facilitate withdrawal of money by card-holders as well as a host of other problems being faced by victims of the natural calamity.
The elected representatives raised the issue of unavailability of a record of flood survivors which was not uploaded on the Nadra website or computer network.
The chief secretary directed the Nadra chairman to upload the entire record of the remaining flood-hit areas till October 24.
He called for setting up of more Nadra centres in the flood-hit districts and towns.
Mr Pasha also directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority to remove all hurdles in the process of the issuance of Watan Cards to eligible people in coordination with Nadra and other relevant departments.
He stressed the need for formulating a comprehensive policy to assess the losses suffered by flood survivors in consultation with the Board of Revenue and the DCOs concerned.
He said efforts towards issuing Watan Cards to all flood survivors should be accelerated, adding that steps should be taken to ensure provision of all basic facilities to the affected people.
He said that the federal and provincial governments were taking keen interest in the rehabilitation of flood victims. He also appreciated the special efforts put in by WHO, Unicef and other international and organisations for the relief and rescue of disaster victims.
PDMA Director-General Sualeh Ahmed Farooqui informed the meeting that keeping in mind the approaching winter, preparations were under way for another relief package for flood-affected people with the assistance of the provincial government and major donors. He said the PDMA was providing basic health facilities to flood survivors with the support of WHO and the Sindh health department. He said efforts were also being made for the revival of the education sector in the flood-hit areas.
It was decided that the next such meeting would be held after 10 days to review the progress of these issues.