KARACHI: In preparation of the monsoon season, the Sindh chief minister (CM) has directed that all preventive and precautionary measures should be adopted beforehand.
“The flood protective bunds should be repaired, channels should be cleaned, and water courses should be desilted so that there is no problem when disaster strikes,” said Qaim Ali Shah. He was speaking at a meeting with the irrigation department at CM House on Wednesday.
Saying that negligence by officers and officials would not be tolerated, Shah ordered the irrigation department to arrange a vigilance team to ensure that the repair work was completed by June 2012.
Shah said that it is the responsibility of the irrigation engineers, commissioners and deputy commissioners to come up with a strategy to combat possible floods or heavy rains in Sindh.
A meeting will be held shortly to chalk out prompt measures in the interest of people and the province, announced the CM.
Regular video conferencing will also be held with the District Disaster Management Authorities to ensure coordination and monitoring of the daily situation.
Drains and nallas of the city were directed to be cleared along with the maintenance of the pumping stations for proper functioning. All taluka municipal administrations were told to expedite their work in advance as well, especially with relevance to the drainage systems.
Remnants of 2011 monsoons
While reviewing the on-going rehabilitation work in Sindh, Shah said that rain water from last year can be still found in many flood- hit areas. President Asif Ali Zardari had directed to drain out the water at earliest, said Shah. “The water pumping machines which are not being used should be shifted to those areas where water still needs to be drained.”
Earlier, a briefing on “Flood fighting and water evacuation efforts (Rain-Flood-2011)” was given by the irrigation minister, Jam Saifullah Dharejo, and the irrigation secretary, Babar Effendi. They said that during the natural calamity of mansoon-2011, the irrigation department in collaboration with the district administration performed the tasks of flood fighting and rehabilitation of rain-affected areas. Effendi assured Shah that the rehabilitation work will be completed by June 2012.
Due to the heavy rains of 2011, more than 7.25 million people were affected while a large number of livestock and crops were destroyed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2012.