Precautionary measures: City readies flood plan ahead of monsoons

Additional collector Nadir Khan Chattha made district flood relief officer.

Shahram Haq June 01, 2011


With monsoon season approaching, the city government has formed a district flood relief committee (DFRC) to coordinate all preparations for floods and potential post-flood activities.

Additional collector Nadir Khan Chattha has been given added charge as district flood relief officer (DFRO). He will be joined on the committee by District Coordination Officer Ahad Cheema as well as officials from the police, town administrations, utilities and various other departments, and by citizen representatives.

Lahore district is protected from flooding by the Shahdara and Sharqpur bunds on the right side and by Mehmood Booti on the left. The Irrigation and Revenue departments have completed a survey of the bunds and will complete any needed repairs and maintenance work by June 10.

Fifty-eight “sensitive points” in the district have been identified. These are spread over nine sectors Baghatpura (Mehmood Booti), Lakhodehr, Manga School, Sundar Adda, Thokar Niaz Baig, Babu Sabu, near Shahdara Mor and near Ravi Bridge. A sector officer has been appointed to look after each section. The additional collector will monitor their overall working from a control room that has been established at the District Courts.

The main source of flood warnings will be the Irrigation Department and the police wireless setup. Wireless sets will be installed at Ravi Gauge Station and Ravi Siphon and they will relay information on discharge levels at Jassar, from where the water takes about 36 hours to reach Shahdara, giving officials that time to prepare for incoming waters.

After June 15, an emergency warning centre will start functioning round the clock at Ravi Gauge Station and similar warning centres will be set up in the offices of the additional collector, sector officers and other coordination departments. The warnings will be conveyed to residents of the area likely to be affected through the police, revenue field staff, union council secretaries, volunteers and sector officers. No warning will be issued for low and medium floods.

Since there is no system in the rural areas to warn of rainwater coming from Hadiara drain, the drainage department will report daily on discharges at drains and canals during the flood season.

The Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO), Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL), Solid Waste Management (SWM), Rescue 1122, the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), the Parks and Horticulture Authority, Civil Defence, town municipal administrations, and livestock and health officials have also made flood contingency plans.

The executive district officer (health) will plan for and organise emergency centres for medical care during floods in the area under his jurisdiction. He will arrange for vaccinations and inoculations and ensure that supplies of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution (ORS) packets and anti-venom serum are adequate.

One EPI vaccine kit will be provided to each medical centre and each mobile team. Wasa will arrange for water purification sets/medicines. The Health Department will provide each centre and mobile team with at least five anti-snake bite injections and 100 ORS packets to combat diarrhoea.

Sector officers will visit their areas and form sector, village and mohalla committees. They will select places for the storage of flood fighting equipment and to set up their offices. They will ensure that proper vaccinations are carried out in their sectors and hospitals and dispensaries of the Health and Livestock and Dairy Development departments have adequate stocks of medicine. In case of flooding, they must submit daily damage survey reports.

Lesco and PTCL will carry out regular surveys of electricity and communication infrastructure in flood-affected areas and make sure there is uninterrupted electricity and communications at Wasa pumps and stations.

If necessary, the army will be requisitioned to help in relief work, in which case 4-Corps Headquarters will send a liaison officer to work with the additional collector. A police wireless system will be installed in the headquarters during flood season.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2011.


Grace | 11 years ago | Reply Good work on behalf of local authorities there to keep of matters.
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