A cut was made at the Badani-Bhan Road in Dadu’s Pir Shahawaz tehsil on Monday after floodwaters flowing from Manchar Lake continued to wreak havoc in the district, with officials warning that more villages were facing a threat of inundation.
The assistant commissioner of Dadu said the cut was made to divert the water toward Indus River. He said the cut would let floodwater make its way to the Indus Link Canal. However, residents complained that the cut had submerged over 30 villages in the district and flooded agricultural land spread over thousands of acres.
Earlier in the day, Yaar Muhammad Kalhoro village was also submerged. One of the major hospitals and schools in Kalhoro had already been inundated, forcing inhabitants to relocate to far-off places. Authorities were also racing to protect Dadu Grid Station, a vital power station supplying electricity to millions of people, against a growing threat of flooding, officials said, taking steps such as building a dyke in front of it. Dadu Assistant Commissioner Shahnawaz Mirani, who is monitoring the situation, said floodwater was now flowing towards Khudabad and Muradabad areas.
He said two “cuts” had been made on Yaar Muhammad Kalhoro-Fakhro Road to divert water to Indus Highway in order to prevent other villages from imminent inundation. He said the two cuts would decrease the flow of floodwater in Dadu.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmakers Rafiq Ahmed Jamali and Pir Mujeebul Haq visited the Ring Bund at Pir Branch, some 10km from Dadu city, to monitor the ongoing strengthening work. Jamali said that work was underway to protect Dadu from further devastation.
Earlier, authorities had breached Manchar Lake’s dyke at two locations in a bid to save the densely populated cities of Sehwan and Bhan Syedabad from flooding by diverting water to less populated areas.
However, Bhan Syedabad is currently flooded, as at least 150 villages had been submerged in the area, locals said.
Sardar Sikandar Rahopoto, a lawmaker from Sehwan, said that the local administration was using machinery and working constantly in an attempt to save Syedabad area.
Being downstream on the Indus River, the southern parts of the country have witnessed swelling river waters flowing from the north. Pakistan’s limited dams and reservoirs are already overflowing and cannot be used to stop downstream flows.
Rahopoto said seven union councils had already been submerged in Sehwan. The water was being directed to Indus River through cuts made at RD-99 and RD-100 near Karampur city in Sehwan, he added. Irrigation Engineer Mahesh Kumar said water from breaches in Manchar was still threatening Dadu city, Bhan Syedabad and Sehwan taluka – the constituency of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
The CM, meanwhile, aerially surveyed Manchar Lake and the protective bunds. He also visited nearby inundated villages, met flood victims to distribute rations among them and reviewed the relief materials being distributed.
Meanwhile, troops were busy strengthening a dyke built in front of the electricity station in Dadu that supplies power to six provincial districts.
“All preventive measures have already been taken to save the grid in case of flooding,” said Syed Murtaza Ali Shah, a top district official.