Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed Irrigation Department and the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officials to keep strict vigil on the Main Nara Valley (MNV) Drain, Indus Link, and Johi Branch canals by strengthening their embankments to protect the main cities of Sehwan, Old city of Mehar, Johi and portions of Dadu.
The water in the canal system is rising with the approaching deluge of over 6,000 cusecs passing through the Sukkur Barrage these days besides the torrents coing dwon from the mountains of Balochistan that feed the seasonal streams.
CM Murad issued these directives during his visit to Manchhar, Dadu, and Johi on Monday. The CM was accompanied by provincial ministers, Nasir Shah and Mukesh Chawla. MNAs Rafiq Jamali, Sikandar Rahpoto, MPA Shajila Leghari and others joined him at Sehwan and Dadu.
While briefing the chief minister the Irrigation Superintendent Engineer Shafaqat Wadho said that the hill torrents from Balochistan which has the catchment areas of Sibi, Bolan Khuzdar, and other cities have developed four to five breaches in Flood Protective (FP) Bund (embankment) starting from Chaki, as a result, water has started entering the areas of Shahdadkot, Kubu Saeed Khan and some adjoining settlement. Wadho said that the main Ghar Drain was flowing inward, thereby posing danger to Gaji Khuhar.
The CM was told the breaches that occurred in Suprio Bund last night at RD52 and RD 12 were exactly opposite the towns of Mehar and K.N Shah. He said that the Johi branch was flowing over its capacity, therefore it was given a relief cut to protect the main towns. During the presentation and discussion between the Irrigation experts and the chief minister, it was concluded that the water would ultimately end up in Manchhar which was already in a precarious condition with a water level of 120.75 RL. The chief minister said that the Indus River was already in high flood, therefore it will not accept water from the drains. Shah directed the irrigation department to start strict vigilance of Indus Link to save Sehwan and its villages.
Shafqat Wadho told the chief minister that in the 2010 floods the river was carrying the water of Manchhar Lake, but this time the course of Indus is contrary to the then situation.
Keeping in view the serious situation, the chief minister decided and directed the irrigation and Wapda authorities to arrange machinery and start strengthening protective bunds and erect bunds at Mehar Bypass, Johi, and KN Shah to protect them from the water coming down from Balochistan.
While talking to the media, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that we have distributed 500,000 tents, but still more than one million tents are required. "We have requested the neighbour countries to help us to rescue and rehabilitate our affected people," he said. He said that Turkey has sent relief goods and similar goods will start landing soon. Responding to a question, the CM said that his government has placed an order of 750,000 ration bags to Utility stores. "This will help to provide uncooked food to the affected people," he said. He further said that more ration bags were being arranged. Murad Ali Shah said that he has ordered a crackdown against hoarders and profiteers. "I have also ordered the arrest of the agents deducting service charges from the cash out of Rs25,000 being given to the flood-affected people under BISP.
The CM said that the Pak army and Navy were helping his government in the evacuation of the people stuck up in the flooded areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2022.