SUKKUR: A considerable decrease in water level was recorded at the Guddu Barrage on Tuesday and irrigation officials expected it to recede further.
Upstream and downstream water levels at the barrage were equal at 1.085 million cusecs, while upstream water level at Sukkur Barrage was recorded at 1.13 million cusecs and remained steady for 12 hours. According to irrigation authorities, the water level at Sukkur Barrage was also expected to recede starting at midnight on Tuesday. However, the embankment wall was still leaking at some points and army rescuers and residents were piling sandbags to repair the leaks. The entire kachcha area of Sukkur is flooded and residents have moved either to the embankments of River Indus or to relief camps established in Rohri and Sukkur. Thousands of those affected by floods in Jacobabad, Kashmore and Shikarpur arrived in Sukkur on Tuesday. They have been accommodated in the two camps set up by the Sukkur district administration. “We have erected 100 tents at the Sukkur Bypass where hundreds of families have been provided shelter and food and medicines are available to them. We are making arrangements for the remaining families,” Sukkur DDO Revenue Sumair Syed told The Express Tribune.
Syed said that the administration would ensure that those displaced were properly facilitated. But, this is little solace for the displaced who have lost not only their homes but also what little they could carry with them. Although police was patrolling various areas, flood survivors were looted and robbed on their way.
Elderly flood survivor Karim Bux Ogahi, who arrived in Sukkur from Ghouspur Town with his family, said what had not been ravaged by the floods was looted by robbers. “Flood water washed away our precious home and stocks of grain. I sold two buffaloes to a local landlord for a meagre Rs30,000. I paid Rs20,000 to the driver of the Mazda who brought us here and the remaining money was looted by armed robbers on our way,” Ogahi said. Peeru Lashari, who migrated from Khanpur, met the same fate. “We left the city on a donkey cart and had covered just a few kilometers when armed robbers snatched the cart and fled,” Lashari said. Fortunately, the family was able to board a truck bringing marooned people to Sukkur.
Meanwhile in Punjab, flood water is heading towards Muzaffargarh city and is at a distance of 10 to 12 kilometres. As many as 500,000 people have been evacuated in the past 48 hours. A breach developed in the Basti Taunsa Panjnad Link canal, following which the Layyah-Muzaffargarh Road was completely closed. The major concern is the TB Link Canal near Muzaffargarh, which has developed four cracks.
Despite the impression that there is a cold war going on between the Punjab government and the federal government, relief activities have gained pace in the area. (With additional reporting by Owais Jafferi)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2010.
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