The Flood Commission appointed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe dyke breaching in Sindh and Balochistan during the devastating floods last year, submitted an interim report on Friday concluding that the dykes were destroyed by the force of the floodwater.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary constituted a four-member commission to investigate allegations that dykes had been breached to facilitate unauthorised diversion of floodwater to protect the estates of influential landowners submitted in a petition filed by PML-Q MNA Marvi Memon some three months ago.
The commission comprised AK Lodhi from Sindh, Khawaja Zaheeruddin from Punjab, Azam Khan from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fateh Muhammad from Balochistan. Additional Registrar Supreme Court Qazi Sajid was appointed the commission’s coordinator.
The commission’s interim report appears to quash allegations of man-made breaches and unauthorised diversion of floodwater.
The commission emphasised that irrigation infrastructure in Balochistan suffered massive damage during the 2010 floods and most of it has still not been repaired. Water is not available for cultivation or even for human consumption in Jaffarabad District as commission members found first-hand from flood-stricken people in Dera Allah Yar. The commission was flown over the area for an aerial view of the damaged infrastructure. It was pointed out to the commission that Kirthar Canal suffered major destruction during the floods. As the main source of water for Jaffarabad District, its immediate repair is necessary for cultivation of Kharif crops.
The chief justice fixed the hearing of the case on March 28 and issued notices to everybody concerned including the petitioners to appear before the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2011.