The Sindh government has decided to add one more breach in the embankment of the Manchar Lake whose overflowing water has so far flooded seven union councils besides threatening to inundate Bhan Saeedabad.
“Irrigation officials will take a decision [in this regard] may be tonight or so,” disclosed Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah while talking to the media after visiting the lake and Danistar channel in Sehwan on Thursday.
The irrigation authorities with the sanction of the CM, whose village Wahar is also flooded by the lake’s water, have already given three cuts at different locations of the levee.
The government expected that only five union councils will be deluged but the spurting water ended up by spreading to seven UCs. The water also overflowed from the Indus Highway between Sehwan and Dadu district besides breaking a bridge near the Sehwan toll plaza.
The government earlier estimated that 125,000 population will be affected but the actual number is likely to be double that figure. “After that [new] cut we hope that Bhan Saeedabad will avert flood,” the CM said, adding that the government is still taking all necessary precautions to protect Bhan.
According to him, the lake’s water caused a breach in the Indus link canal after which Talti and Bhmabah UCs were also flooded and the water headed to Bhan Saeedabad. “After the cut some relief will be provided but I don’t say that water will flow away immediately [from the lake] because more water is coming from behind,” the CM said.
The flood level has reduced at Guddu and Sukkur barrages where 193,300 cusecs and 273,416 cusecs water was recorded on Thursday. However, the last barrage on the Indus River in Sindh, the Kotri barrage, is witnessing a surge in the level. A medium flood of 604099 cusecs was recorded on Thursday. The CM said after decrease in the flood level in the barrages, Manchar’s water will be discharged in river faster. “I have advised the irrigation officers to be cautious about giving a new cut at Manchar as it will be better to wait for reduction in the river flows,” Shah informed.
CM Murad has directed that coordination among various government departments should be improved so that relief could be provided to the flood-stricken people in the province.
CM Shah issued these directives while presiding over a high-level meeting at his office on Thursday.
“Now, that the Indus River is receding, efforts should be made to dispose of floodwater from the towns and cities,” he said.
CM Advisor on Agriculture Manzoor Wassan briefed the chief minister on the damages caused to the standing crops. The chief minister directed the Agriculture Department to work out a plan on how much land could be prepared for late rabi crops. “You should prepare a plan to support growers for provision of seeds, fertilisers and technological help so that they can grow wheat and vegetables,” he said.
CM Shah said that Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force and civil administration were carrying out rescue and relief work but it had to be consolidated so that we could reach the maximum number of people. with additional input by Hafeez Tunio in Karachi
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2022.
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