Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar has asked provinces to complete the restoration and rehabilitation of flood-stricken areas by July 15, 2011 in order to ensure safety in the upcoming monsoon season.
While presiding over the pre-flood inter-provincial meeting of the Federal Flood Commission, the minister also directed the provinces to adopt all pre-emptive measures recommended by the commission in order to avert possible damages in case of heavy rains and subsequent flooding, according to a press release issued on Thursday.
The meeting was held to review the progress on the restoration work, flood bunds and to check the status of the provinces as well as the federation in terms of preparations for the upcoming monsoon season.
Qamar also directed the provinces to submit a progress report on the restoration work and mid-term flood schemes, and directed the commission to monitor the rehabilitation activities of the provinces.
They were also asked to mobilise all resources to repair infrastructure, streamline procedures and work on war-footing to ensure safety if faced with the same disaster that Pakistan was hit with last year.
The minister said that he would himself visit all the four provinces to review the restoration and reconstruction work by the provinces.
He also asked the Met Office to ensure a timely weather forecast. “Timely and correct flood forecast will certainly help in managing flood situation,” he said.
Earlier, the meeting was informed that Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan have almost completed immediate and mid-term restoration work. All four provinces ensured that the remaining work will be finished by July 15.
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) stated that all the arrangements have been made to meet any challenges during the monsoon, adding that the authority has close coordination with all the federal and provincial departments concerned.
DG Met Office briefed the meeting on the flood forecasting plan and stated that timely and accurate weather forecast during 2011 will be ensured.
He forecast 10 per cent below normal monsoon in the coming season.
The meeting was informed that the flood damages to irrigation, drainage and flood protection infrastructure as assessed by ADB & World Bank, and their reconstruction/rehabilitation cost is around RS83 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.
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