Murad constitutes committees to ensure dewatering of cities, towns

CM says the pain of people living in camps can only be healed by sending them back to their homes

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has constituted committees under concerned chief engineers to dispose of water from the flooded towns and cities located on both, right and left, banks of River Indus so that life could be restored along with clearance of agricultural lands for Rabi crop.

“The people living in the camps are in real pain and their pain could only be healed by sending them back to their homes and that would be possible when water is cleared from their areas,” he said while presiding over a meeting regarding the disposal of flood water from the towns and villages of the province here at the CM House.

The meeting was attended by Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Brigadier Nayar of Crops -5 Engineering side, Secretary to CM Raheen Shaikh, Secretary irrigation Sohail Qureshi, Special Secretary Irrigation Jamal, Chief Engineer Zareef Khero, Chief Engineer Scarp Mansoor Memon, and others.

The chief minister said that he had visited affected areas of the province and found that water had started receding. “We have to work out a plan for how to dispose of the stagnant water so that people living in the tents and along the main roads could be sent back to their homes,” he said. Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Secretary Irrigation Sohail Qureshi, and chief engineer Zareef Khero gave a detailed presentation to the chief minister on the current position of the flood as follows:

The river Indus is flowing normally at Guddu, Sukkur, and Kotri barrages. The level of Manchhar Lake has reduced from RL-23.3 to RL 118.85, showing a reduction of 4.45 feet. The level of Dadu-Moro bridge and Amri Bridge has also shown a reduction of 9.4 feet and 7.7 feet respectively.

Out of four cuts made into Larkana-Sehwan Bund one has been plugged while the remaining three cuts and Danister, Arral head and Tail are discharging 114,010 cusecs. Given the current situation of inundation on the Right Side of Sukkur Barrage, the chief minister was told that the water level has reduced along FP Bund ranging from 8 ft to 11 ft in the upper reach of Saifullah and Rice Canal Division, whereas 4 to 7 ft in the lower reach of Southern Dadu Division. The water evel along Suprio Bund has also reduced from 5 to 6 feet.

Reduction along MNV at RD-194 has been recorded at about 2.9 ft, at RD 210 3.3 ft, and RD-346 11 ft. The Shahdadkot main drain and Miro Khan Main Drain level have also been lowered by one to two feet and now flowing in RBOD-III.

The water level has reduced to around 5 feet at Mehar City Ring Bund while the KN Shah Main Drain is flowing in MNV and there is a reduction of 5 feet. The water level at Johi Branch RD-67 (KN Shah Dadu Road) has also shown a reduction of 5.5 ft. The most important is the complete reduction of water along the ring Bund of Bhan Saeedabad, therefore the bund [ring] is being removed.

The CM was informed that the overall water level was depleting in the upper areas of Taluka Qubo Saeed Khan, Shahdadkot, Kambar, Warah, and Nasirabad. The breach at FP Bund at RD-169 (Chukhi) has been plugged. The Spinal Drain flows have been recorded at 11.70 at RD-728, 15.2 at RD-468, 18.65 at RD-305 and 20.10 at RD-295, and 18.75 at RD-245 which is ever the highest level. Therefore, two breaches had occurred and one of them has been plugged while the other one would be plugged by tomorrow. The CM was told that the gauges were reducing gradually along the spinal drain.

The chief minister directed the Irrigation department to evacuate rain/flood water from district Khairpur, especially from the area of Talukas Kotdiji and Mirwah. He directed the SCARP division of the irrigation department to deploy 15 dewatering machines, arrange excavators, and de-silt problematic SCARP drains. He directed the energy department to talk to SEPCO to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to SCARP pumping stations.

The chief minister was told that 128,037 acres of Kashmore district were under water, of which 46 per cent has been evacuated. Similarly, Jacobabad has shown a 34 per cent reduction in flood water, Shikarpur 48 per cent, Kambar-Shahdadkot 15 per cent, Larkana 34 per cent, Thatta 76 per cent, Ghotki 68 per cent, Sukkur 34 per cent, Khairpur 28 per cent, Naushehroferoze 34 per cent, Shaheed Benazirabad 40 per cent, Sanghar 61 per cent, Umerkot 53 per cent, Mirpurkhas 39 per cent, Matiari 78 per cent, Tando Allahyar 49 per cent, and Hyderabad 53 per cent.

Hanif Samoon is a senior journalist based at Thar/Badin and contributes reports from different districts of Sindh to Minute Mirror. He has won a number of awards, including the Agahi Award twice for his stories on health and child rights. He tweets @HanifSamoon1 and can be reached through email at hanifsamoon@gmail.com

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