Lawmakers demand new dams

Govt assures opposition of leaving no stone unturned in relief work

Our Correspondent September 01, 2022
Punjab Assembly. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The treasury and opposition lawmakers in Punjab Assembly seemed on one page on Wednesday about construction of dams and expansion of the canal system to avoid loss by floods in future.

During a general discussion begun with consensus after deferring a debate on constitutional crises, inflation and law and order, they said this was not the time of point scoring but to unite for collective measures to help those who had lost everything in the flood-hit areas.

Provincial Minister for Cooperatives, Environment Protection and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja assured the opposition that the government would leave no stone unturned in rehabilitation of the flooded areas of Punjab.

The legislators from both the treasury and opposition benches demanded concrete and sincere measures for helping those who had not only lost their houses, crops, land and animals but also their loved ones amidst the worst conditions in the flooded areas.

PPP’s Syed Hassan Murtaza, while expressing his sorrow, requested the speaker to issue a ruling to include the people of Chiniot in the relief efforts.

He said Chiniot had been badly effected owing to floodwater from the Chenab river that needed to be diverted immediately to avoid a huge loss.

Crops of the farmers had been destroyed and people had lost their houses, he added.

Minister Basharat Raja said he had ordered the authorities concerned to immediately contact the assistant commissioner of Bhawana and sought a report about measures taken to provide relief to local people.

He also assured the house that no discriminatory treatment would be allowed, adding that those who had been badly affected in the flood-affected areas were Pakistanis and all out efforts would be made to compensate them to the maximum possible extent for what they had lost.

PTI’s Chaudhry Zaheerud
Din demanded the construction of Kalabagh Dam to avoid further loss.

He also proposed the construction of small dams on drains and streams heading toward residential areas from the mountains or hilly regions. The pooled water from the dams should be supplied towards the bigger reservoirs, he proposed.

Punjab Minister for Energy and Food Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dreshak said appropriate measures should be taken to avoid similar loss in future. “We should spend our energies in how to protect people from any loss in future,” he added.

PML-N’s Mehwish Sultana also demanded construction of the Kalabagh Dam, claiming that it would not only boost storage of water but also protect the people from the loss being witnessed in the flood-hit areas.

PML-N’s Rahila Khadim expressed regret over the absence of Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi from the assembly.

The legislator said the people were losing their lives but the chief minister was ensuring his presence along with his son Moonis Elahi in Banigala.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2022.


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